The Schtick: Previously part of their travel retail offering, Oban’s Little Bay has graduated to the core range as a 70cl bottling. 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.” – Master of Malt
So we have a NAS Oban that was finished in small casks. This should be interesting. Recently, Oban has been plummeting in price here in my slice of the US, which made it interesting enough to pick up a bottle and dive in.
ABV: 43% ABV
Nose: Honey, pepper, sweet vanilla bean, light peppery peat. Sweet and buttery with some underlying smoke. Yummy.
Taste: Sweet caramel, lemon poppyseed muffin. Lightly earthy, faintly smoky. Some pepper. Cake batter, fresh baked rolls, light brine. Diverse, and not really showing of its youth. Medium mouth feel, no real heat.
Finish: Short, but sweet and loaded with caramel, pipe tobacco and ashy peat smoke.
Overall: This is surprisingly good. I enjoy the unique profile, as it’s one we don’t often see, especially from an OB. In this case, like Laphroaig QC, the small cask finish adds complexity rather than covers up flaws, and I’m a fan.
Thanks for reading!