Note, that this is the first time I have put tasting notes on ‘paper’, and I’ll revisit Oban in the future as i get more used to extracting the essential features out of a whisky.
Rather than using a whisky tumbler I always taste (and drink) my single malts from a small white wine class surpisingly similar to the tulip shape and size of the famous Glencairn tasting glass. This allows the aroma to remain contained, and easier to taste without getting overwhelmed by the scent of the whisky.
As I mentioned in my intro, I have visited the town of Oban and toured the distillery. Situated on the west coast of Scotland, the town of Oban is (if i remember correctly) the main port to Islay. There is a fun and busy vibe about the town, and a great pub near the port that has a spectacular array of whiskies to sample – or at least there was 15-16 years ago.
Anyway, onto the tasting:
1. First impressions: Appearance and aroma
Oban is mid toned in colour with a glossy golden amber appearance. To me the aroma is rather sweet, with notes of honey. I can detect some slight hints of marzipan and lemon. It also has a slightly earthy or peaty aroma.
2. Taste and Finish
The taste is robust and continues with the honey notes. It has a fairly dry but sparkly texture. There is also a slight level of saltiness, reminding you that the Oban distillery is a short walk from the sea off the west coast of Scotland.
The finish is smooth, but not too long as the flavour gradually recedes leaving a pleasant warmth and a butter toffee aftertaste.
3. Overall Impression
While not the most amazing single malt, it is very drinkable. I like the combination of the sweetness and dryness and Oban still deserves its place as one of the classic six malts.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate Oban as a 6.