The Oban distillery sits in the town of the same name and overlooks the harbour and the sea at Scotland’s western coast. The Oban distillery was founded in 1794 by Hugh and John Stevenson on the site of an old brewery. The distillery dominates the town, despite being rather small and its aesthetics are rather imperial. The pair of stills has a capacity of just 670,000 litres per annum and almost all of this is matured and bottled as single malt Scotch whisky.
Just before the turn of the twentieth century, Oban became part of the Oban and Aultmore-Glenlivet Company. In 1925, the company was acquired by Distillers Company Limited and five years later it was transferred to Scottish Malt Distillers. Following a brief few years of silence, the Oban whisky distillery reopened in 1937 and remained open until 1968 when the distillery was closed for renovation.
In 1972, the stills of Oban ran with spirit once more and in 1988 parent company United Distillers released the Classic Malts range. Oban Scotch was the Western Highlands’ representative in said range. A year later, a visitor centre was inaugurated. The distillery’s popularity has increased greatly in recent years. Independent releases are nigh on impossible to find, though the official range is quite substantial.
For the Oban Little Bay, master blenders Dr. Matthew Crow and Dr. Craig Wilson use whisky matured in refill American oak hogsheads, European oak Sherry casks and refill casks with new ends for this expression before allowing the resultant single malt whisky to marry in small oak casks.
Nose: Dried apple chips, floral herbs and chopped mint, candied orange and a touch of milky coffee.
Palate: Those fancy chocolates with the flakes of sea salt, pound cake topped with demerara sugar and cinnamon. Citrus returns on the mid-palate.
Finish: Spiced with cinnamon and ginger.