Oban means Little Bay in Gaelic, so it’s a pretty obvious name for the latest addition in the core range (now that stories are worth more than age statements).
In its recipe we find different ages of whisky, matured in three types of casks: European oak sherry casks, refill casks with new oak cask ends and refill American oak hogsheads. The resulting whisky was married in small oak casks.
Oban is one of Diageo’s smallest distilleries and it hasn’t been in the spotlight, but Oban Little Bay shows that it’s still alive and kicking.
Oban Little Bay ‘Small Cask’
(43%, OB 2015)
Nose: quite neutral, very malty. There are hints of stewed apples, vanilla and baking spices, mainly cinnamon. Honey. Maybe a hint of gingerbread. A little middle-of-the-road. The supposed coastal side of Oban doesn’t really show, although some minty notes add a vivid freshness.
Mouth: again very malty. Apples, fruit cake with very nice apricot and banana flavours. It also has a distinctly salty, juicy feel. Hints of oranges, lemons and cloves. Mint returns, as well as honey.
Finish: a little short, slightly tart and spicy, with minty / gingery notes coming out.
Oban Little Bay comes across fairly young but offers decent complexity (due to the different types of casks probably) and a fresh, mouth-watering profile. A good entry-level malt. Around € 70.