June 9 2016  |  Spirits & Tobacco

A drive up the coast to Oban

By Wendy Morley

A visit to Oban, whisky dream come true

I don’t know how many different ways you can say “beautiful,” or “spectacular” but I’m sure I’ve said them all while driving through Scotland. The roads are quite narrow and winding and surrounded by pretty villages, stone houses and walls and anything from rolling to staggering hills. Coming upon Oban brings more of the staggering and spectacular, with roads so winding I’m very glad it’s a continuation of the unusually warm and sunny weather.

The town of Oban grew around the distillery

The town, so it’s said, was built around the distillery and yes, there it is in the middle of town, hemmed in by a cliff on the back, the sea on the front, and buildings on either side.

Carol, the tour guide at Oban, showing how the distilery is hemmed in and therefore limited in its capacity

Full disclosure: I have to admit here that Oban was my first favorite whisky (now I say trying to choose a favorite is like trying to choose between your children), so seeing this distillery is extra special to me. Also, the distillery is in a world of its own location wise, and as tour guide Carol says, just as unique in its approach to flavor, with a hint of the salty sea, a hint of smoke but the smooth gentleness of a highland whisky.

Stellar line-up

As a special treat, I got to taste whisky straight from the barrel – something I always love to do! – and the tasting was truly special, with Oban Little Bay and its Distillers Edition alongside the classic Oban 14 YO.

A singular experience tasting Oban right from the barrel

Oban 14 YO, Oban Little Bay and Oban Distiller's Edition. A lovely trio

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