The 14 year old has been in the Classic Malt line-up since its inception and is regularly stocked as a go-to option in many bars the world over – likewise, the Travel Retail ‘Little Bay’ can be regularly spotted whilst wandering aimlessly around airports – but, in general, Oban fans have it hard – and there’s little to no juice in the hands of independent bottlers. It therefore surprised me that the Oban Bay Reserve bottling from the Game of Thrones series seemed to be the expression that sold out on pre-order the quickest last week. Popular show meets popular but rarely sighted new Oban.
Nose: Inherent maltiness meets orange zest, garden apples, melted butter and freshly baked pastries. After a little resting, gummy bear sweetness develops alongside grilled bananas, baking spices (ginger and allspice) and caramel. Reduction unlocks some inherent nuttiness with hazelnuts, as well as adding bready dough and rolled pastry.
Taste: The arrival is velvety smooth and delivers a combination of soured fruits and sweetened yoghurt – sharp apples, tart orange and citrus with creamy parfait and yoghurt mousse. The development introduces some underlying Oban malts – ripe barley and roasted cereals alongside dark chocolate and brown sugar, before offering an unexpected bite of coastal salinity. Far from unpleasant, but it really does seem to come out of nowhere. The addition of water offers a similar hazelnut nuttiness of the nose, whilst adding in some background chopped garden herbs. However resting proves to be the great leveler here - diminishing sourness and adding tinned juicy fruitiness into the mix. A considerable improvement.
Finish: The long side of medium with plenty of salinity, bitter steeped tea, chocolate and late fading charred oak.
Highlands, Scotland- A beautiful combination of rich, nutty toffee balanced by polished oak, salt, pepper, seaweed, distant smoke and dried fruit. Somewhat oily in texture. Wonderful depth, too! Very exciting and dynamic. 2020 SIP Gold Medal and Innovation Star Award winner.
Age Verification Required on Delivery: This product is not for sale to people under the age of 21. To confirm the recipient is over 21 years, valid photographic ID with a date of birth will be required upon delivery for all customers. The driver will input your date of birth into their device to confirm that age verification has been completed successfully, but will not be able to access your date of birth information once your delivery is complete.