If you had a box full of Special Releases 2022, where would you start? Check the full list in this overview article.
After a while I selected the Oban 10 Year Old. Oban is one of the distilleries that I’d like to try more often, but you rarely see new bottlings. Only 8 reviews so far on this blog – for an active distilleries that’s a very small amount. It doesn’t help that I’ve never laid my hands upon an independent release.
We’re spoiled as there was a new Oban in the 2021 Special Releases and again this year. The Oban 10 Years was finished in an interesting combination of sherry casks. On the label it is decribed as ex-sherry and Amontillado-seasoned casks. Can we assume the Amontillado didn’t come from the sherry triangle and the casks that did originate in Jerez were of an undefined style of wine?
Oban 10 yo (57,1%, OB Special Releases 2022, ex-sherry + Amontillado-seasoned casks)
Nose: there’s overripe apples, melons and toffee notes at first, with hints of hay and dusty cellars. A savoury hint of seaweed. Later it becomes brighter, on citrus notes (pickled lemon), unripe pear and salty sea air. Then some herbal notes and mustard. Light creamy notes in the background.
Mouth: a sweet onset, quickly overtaken by maritime salinity and some punchy chilli. Quite some heat. Golden raisins, a big malty core, lemons and walnuts. Then hints of tobacco leaves and light chocolate. Blackberry. It gets slightly floral (rose water?) and quite grassy towards the end.
Finish: long, alternating between citrus and oak spice. Pepper and salt over green apples.
A interesting young Oban. It carries the trademark maritime notes and combines them with savoury sherry and firm spice on the palate. A nice drop. Available from Malts.com (now also in Belgium and The Netherlands) or retailers worldwide like The Whisky Exchange.
So which one should I try next? Feel free to leave a comment below.