Oban 1995/2010 (43%, OB, OD 159.FW, Distillers Edition, Montilla Fino Finish)

Oban is one of the special Whiskies from Diageo. Not a lot of versions around, very little independents have it, and most of it you’ll find are old bottles, with big prices. It a bit their highland Lagavulin, which also once had few expressions and little seen with independents.

Montilla is a Spanish DO (Denominación de Origen) from the southern part of Córdoba. The Fino used for this finish is commonly a clean, vibrant, straw-colored wine. It has a complex and subtle nose. Delicate notes of predominantly yeast and almonds. Sometimes also tobacco and liquorice. The taste is dry, bitter, smooth and lingering. Also very nice olive oil comes from here.

Color: Orange gold.

Nose: Fresh (air), wood, a little bit creamy. Thick. Slightest hints of tar and laurel liquorice and something sour like a green apple. Dry and perfumed paper. This does have a Fino trait to it (I once had a Fino Glenfarclas and the characteristics are very similar. I also once had a bone dry Fino Sherry from Lustau, which also had the same characteristics). I guess, Whiskies from a Fino cask are easy to recognize.

Taste: Wood is the first up, plywood. Yep, Fino. Little bit of vanilla ice-cream. And a slight pepper bite. It has cardboard combined with sugar, some sort of strange sweetness. I’m not convinced this finish worked well with the Oban distillate. The finish is quite anonymous. Also, it isn’t very balanced. After some breathing I got some organics (yeast and cow-stable) and some late sweetness, which makes it slightly more drinkable, but it doesn’t undo the unbalance.

This is a bit disappointing actually. I expected more from Oban combined with Fino Sherry. Not something I would buy, nor would I order this at a bar. For me it is ‘put together’ or crafted. It isn’t being honest like I found recently with some official Benromachs. Also the Fino finish doesn’t work for me here.

Points: 82

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