Thursday, 29 September 2011

Rediscovering The Classics: Oban 14 Year Old

I had a minor revelation the other day. In my eternal quest to sample as many different whiskies that I possibly can I have forgotten that some of the all time classics have their own charm that is often blown out of proportion by expensive marketing campaigns. The thing about these whiskies is that some of them are really rather good, it's just a case of working out which ones.

One such whisky is the West coast malt that is Oban. This is a whisky I had completely forgotten about but thanks to a piece of trivia imparted to me, I rediscovered it. So what is this little fact you ask me? The other week I was speaking to a friend of the graphic designer who created Oban's packaging, when he pointed out his friend had drawn a man walking a dog on top of the cliff in the background on the cardboard tube packaging. Yet when you look at the bottle label the dog is no where to be seen and the man is peering over the cliff trying to find him. It was this canine tragedy that opened my eyes to this coastal whisky again and I had to have some.

Oban 14 Year Old
Nose: Brine defines this seaside malt with cedar and mascerated fermenting berries following.
Palate: Light oily mouthfeel with a clean sweetness washing over the tongue.
Finish: That saline briny quality again with a vague fruitiness from a little sherry presence perhaps?
Overall: This dram has a light mouth coating aspect and is certainly an accessible whisky. It didn't have the complexity I really desired and didn't possess any panache. A stand-up whisky but nothing to get excited about.


  1. Hi, I came to your blog while looking for the designer of the Oban packaging. But while here I found myself reading page after page of fantastic prose about whiskey. I have to ask tho, do you happen to remember the name of the designer/studio who designed the packaging. Thank you for a great blog!

  2. Many thanks for the kind words! Sadly I don't know the designer as I only met his friend, I do know a lot of whisky package designers operate out of London's Soho. Hope this helps!