Review #65: Oban 14

As far as scotch goes I’ve mainly reviewed Glenfiddich so far and I’ve been looking to mix things up so when a coworker asked me about Oban it seemed like a great excuse to review it. Oban 14 is a Highland single malt from a very small town on the west coast that is now owned by Diageo :) So let’s get to the review!

Review

Age: 14 years

Abv: 86 proof

Color: A medium to deep gold

Price: $69.99

Neat

Nose: Rich and sweet with strong apple and honey notes and subtler smoke and malt notes.

Taste: More sweet apples and honey with a bit of oak and malt and a hint of spice. I couldn’t find any smoke though.

Finish: Long, full flavored finished with a linger sweetness with the same honey and apple notes that we’ve had throughout and a bit more of the oak from the taste.

On a rock

Nose: Significantly weaker nose with just a bit of fruit and honey, the nose doesn’t hold up well to the ice.

Taste: The ice opens the taste up for me with more balanced apple and honey alongside oak and baking spice notes. The lower temperature also helped the mouthfeel go from just fine to quite nice.

Finish: A little shorter and not quite as full but still doing well in both categories with apples, honey, spice and just a pinch of saltiness.

Conclusion

Oban 14 is an excellent scotch and reasonably priced. It’s a bit in a valley for me as far as peat goes; I’d rather they just went unpeated or ramped it up a little bit. The sweet fruit and honey notes are excellent and well balanced with spice and oak. The mouthfeel is solid but nothing to write home about. Overall I’, happy to buy a bottle from time to time and due to the taste profile combined with the price and availability this is a staple of steakhouse scotch orders for me.

8 - an excellent bottle I’d be happy to buy

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Scale

My reviews are mostly about taste but occasionally take price into consideration generally dropping a point from whiskies in the 8-9 range that seem significantly more expensive than similar quality bottles.

10 - an all time favorite, must buy

9 - a favorite that I almost always have a bottle of on my shelf

8 - an excellent bottle I’d be happy to buy

7 - a solid whiskey I’d happily order at bar if they don’t have something 8+

6 - a decent whiskey that I don’t prefer but don’t avoid and would be fine having as a mixer or in a pinch somewhere with a poor selection

5 - I would drink it if offered and I didn’t have to pay for it

4 - Fine as a mixer, bring on the Coke Zero

3 - Maybe a mixer if I’m in pinch

2 - no thanks

1 - pouring out the bottle