Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Finished in ex-Rum pot still
Added coloring: No
Average price: € 160.00
Official website: www.obanwhisky.com
By now, Oban’s new official bottlings only come through Special Releases, and since there are very few indie ones, lovers of the distillery find themselves having to wait for this annual event to try something new.
Unprecedentedly matured in ex-Caribbean rum casks, hence the title of this bottling that recalls the dancers of Soca with all the sun, sea, colours and hormonal explosions that the exotic atmosphere evokes as in a Caribbean Cruise commercial.
Hoping not to end up sipping a margarita in the company of your Grandma.
The nose starts aggressively, with the sourness of brown sugar, pineapple and apple juice, lime and unripe banana. Add a good dose of vegetal notes, of lemon cucumber, and the sensation is one of relentless sourness, “just like life” would say an enthusiastic cruiser, were it not that with resilient patience a gentler side of peach and honey slowly emerges to grant a light of hope, which with a distant hint of incense takes on Christological connotations. Dilution lends a hand to the sweetness, bringing more balance.
In the mouth, the sweet part takes a (small) revenge, riding on a wisp of smoke that soon brings back the whole sour part, however, especially citric, which spreads to the even more expressive herbaceous notes together with a shower of salt and spices (white pepper, aniseed), trespassing into the balsamic/mentholic. In no particular order, nuts, cereals and ginger make an appearance.
The finish is quite long and inevitably sour, but less than you might expect, with sweet and fruity elements, balsamic notes, apple peel, aniseed.
In case you hadn’t guessed, this is the triumph of sourness, which may well have its fans but which personally finds me rather annoyed, not least because of a certain disharmony of flavours that seem to suffer from the finishing rather than embrace it.