Oban 12 2021 Special Release

This is a further continuation of reviewing the 2021 Special Releases from Diageo, save for one, because… well I wasn’t born into riches, so this is what I can afford.

Speaking of afford: Oban is one of the distilleries I’d be most likely to review more of. I am not anti-Oban. I’m also not pro-Oban. I’m Oban agnostic, if you will. I have had Oban reviews total. The 18-year-old never shows up at my local, the Little Bay isn’t typically at bars to try a dram (or if it is then I have other options), and.. Huh, that’s about it. Part of the reason I’m doing all of these special releases was the ability to try them popped up and I typically only try special releases well after the year they come out.

Not to mention there’s a premium on releases from the distillery, few independent bottler releases available to me, and I don’t live near enough to the distillery to buy distillery releases. Nor will I bring up a certain overhyped TV show tie-in release that let me down harder than most exes.

As you’ve surmised, I’m reviewing Oban 12 2021 Special Release today, a cask strength offering that is made up of ex-Bourbon and European refill casks.

Will this change my mind? Perhaps? Or perhaps it’ll end up like the rest and I’m an obstinate curmudgeon with a vernacular masturabation issue.

Let’s observe, shall we?

Price: £105

Region: Highland

Cask type: Ex-Bourbon and European refill Casks

Abv: 56.2%

Colour: 5Y 8/6

Nose: Floral, brine, hard candy, lemon

Interesting light nose. It’s not really what I was expecting at all. First off: Not a Lowland, is a Highland, but has a Lowland nose. Here’s hoping it also has this Oakland booty I keep hearing about.

Granted I’m a fan of lemon when it’s mixed with floral and the brine is nice.

Taste: Butterscotch, lemon candy, orange juice, brine

Nice caramel note, some more candy, lots more citrus, and that obvious brine.

Again, not hating it. I know I’ve ranted against orange flavour before and how much I’m frustrated by it. It’s situational, I should have made that clear before, but I gotta live with the bed I’ve made I guess. Maybe it’s the extra sweet notes I don’t mind this time? The brine balancing it out? Who knows, this is tasty, that’s what I’m saying.

Finish: Floral, plum, cotton, cardamon, ginger

Vegetal, more almost port-influence-like flavour, what with the plum and the spices going on. I like the finish.

Conclusion: Light nose and a good mix of flavours. Simpler. I went back to my release of the standard and this seems similar in a lot of ways: Citrus, brine, floral, but stronger with less of a nose.

Maybe I’ve changed and like this more now. Maybe this was a different take on the whisky. Maybe it’s all the Maybelline I’ve been wearing. Maybe I’m born with it. What I’m saying is the only issue is the nose isn’t there. It needs water to really open up. After that? Solid whisky if you like this profile. Which I do. So I drank more. Yay me!

I’ll be trying to find more Oban when I can, but we’re still dealing with logistical issues stopping me, so maybe in the future, maybe not.


Scotch review #1532, Highland review #256, Whisky Network review #2252

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