Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky 14 year old
A combination of rich sweetness with a smoky dryness and appetising spice distinguishes this lovingly-matured Highland malt. Nose immediate and confident; rapidly gaining intensity. Warming and sweet: oily, waxy and nutty, balanced by delicate ripe orchard fruits. Then, lighter notes of an almondy fruit cake sit atop a denser layer of Christmas pudding. Behind, malty cereal notes are offset by aromatic orange. Much later: traces of brine and smoke, a little menthol and pine resin. A well-paced, beautifully textured and sweetly generous Oban, whose warming richness is neatly balanced by a smoky spicy-dryness; perfect with a chocolate truffle or two. An immediate and assertive, complex and evocative nose, well balanced and well-structured throughout with layers of classic Oban fruit and malt, introduces an equally well balanced palate that starts richly coating then grows dryer and more cleansing, before a long and oaky finish. Dense and coating, spicy too; sweet, yet menthol- fresh. Filling and warming, with the comforting chewiness of rich fruit-bread and hints of orange zest and clove, before growing drier, still minty, with crisp green apple. Less dense and fruitier with just a little water, which allows the classic Oban fruit, malt and maritime hints free reign until the balancing, drying spice returns. Finish long. Quite syrupy at first, then drying, with elegant coating tannins rich in dark chocolate character. Later, pine-fresh. At once cleansing yet chewy, with just a trace of late, slightly cedary, smoke.
Look for pleasant sweetness and spice up front, as the nose offers a complex mix of oak, maple sugar, fresh apple, clove, black pepper and cinnamon. The flavors dry to a spicy midpalate before exiting on a long, concentrated maple-like note.Score: 91, Kara Newman, December 31, 2015
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