There are five main regions where scotches come from: Speyside (north area), Highland (well, that is in the north area as well), Lowlands (south area), Islay (the isles south of Scotland), and Cambeltown (a freaky little area in the butt of Scotland). As said earlier, each region has their own thing. So to completely explode scotch, we much try a quaff from each of these regions, don’t you think?
So my first review was of The Balvenie Doublewood 12 yr; that is a Speyside drink.
My second review was of Laphroiag 10 yr; that is from Islay.
This one is from the Highland region (a very similar region to Speyside) and this one is a crowd pleasure to say the least:
The Oban 14 yr!!!!
If you never have heard of Oban, well wake the hell up!! Sure, it is not as prevalent as a Glenlivet or MaCallan, but if you want any sort of rep in the whiskey world, you have to tie one of these on before you get some street cred.
Let’s look at some of the tasting notes:
Nose: Fruity and smoky. Yes, that sounds like a bit of a dichotomy, but imagine roasting a pear on an open flame. Doesn’t sound so unusual now, huh? A real zesty, salty, and citrus-like aroma fills your nasal canal with a light jab of toffee
Taste: Rich and fruity. Well, what do you expect, it tastes like it smells. The citrus flavor covers your mouth, mostly pear and orange tones, and fills your palette with joy. There are subtle hints of smoke and caramel mixed in there for balance, but the taste it primarily like there is an Anjou crammed under your tongue.
Finish: The fruity aspects make way for the toffee and sea salt aftertaste upon exhaling. But don’t you worry, that fruit sensation is still there, but just it is polity letting the more briny aspects partake as well. Oban leaves your mouth happy, making you want more.
This is a great libation for those who are new to the scotch game; it is not too peaty to scare the lesser palettes away, but is not a bubblegum fruity drink that doesn’t really represent the sophisticated taste of scotch. In other words, Oban is well balanced across the board; sweet, fruity, toffee, salty, spicy, smoky, and all of those other tastes that I cannot pick up but experts say that are in there.
Now I know the Oban 14 is not the cheapest of scotches; I have seen it from $14-$25 a pour!! $25? Say what? But don’t worry, your local Total Wine or Bevmo will probably have this guy for around $70; not so bad considering the cost of a dram of this stuff at your local bar represents a typical $100 bottle.
So buy one of these if ~$70 is in your wheelhouse. I promise you won’t be disappointed.