Oban Little Bay 43%

One of the things we appreciate most about our original whisky tasting group is our approach of sampling blind. It frees us from preconceived notions – including previous experience with a particular whisky or distillery.

Which enabled all of us to take a fresh look at Oban and explore their NAS expression Little Bay.

Oban Little Bay 43%

  • Nose – Panchgani honey… which then slipped away as other elements like cereal or biscuits, citrus, quite appealing on the nose though a bit rough, cherry, a light hint of rose, the skin of raw mango, a bouquet of fruit and flowers. After sipping, dry coconut, walnuts, a bit musty
  • Palate – Bitter spice, a hint of peat, dry, a lather of lemon soap, wet rice before grinding for dosas, became increasingly bitter
  • Finish – Short, a bit of spice at the front

As we considered the whisky, it was clear the nose was its strongest point, followed by the taste yet the finish was the most disappointing element.

Most amusing, one of our members admitted has has this whisky at home, enjoyed recently though not with the focused attention of our sessions. For many, the Oban 14 year is familiar friend yet we didn’t make the connect with Little Bay.

Oban Little Bay is matured in refill American oak hogsheads, European oak Sherry casks and refill casks with new ends then “married” in small oak casks.

Overall what did we think? Our conclusion was this would be great as a party whisky – reasonably priced, appealing nose, easy to drink. While its no Oban 14, its not something you would be embarrassed to share on a sociable evening.

What do the Diageo folks have to say about Oban Little Bay?

  • Nose – Oily, waxy and nutty, balanced by ripe orchard fruits. Notes of almond fruit cake on denser Christmas pudding, with cereal and orange behind.
  • Palate – The comforting chewiness of rich fruit-bread, hints of orange zest and clove, growing drier, still minty, with crisp green apple.
  • Finish – In a word, long. Quite syrupy at first, then drying, with elegant coating tannins rich in dark chocolate character.

What else did we try in our NAS evening?

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Exploring NAS whiskies – Guillon, Oban, Arran + Kavalan

Sure folks still bemoan the days where “No Age Statement” whiskies were few and far between in the world of single malts, however NAS whiskies are here to stay! And frankly, some of them are rather good.

So it was rather apt that one of our retired whisky club members for his birthday (of years we shall not say!) turned to a quartet of NAS whiskies… which turned out not to all be whiskies… as there is a new avatar of ‘malt spirit’ which joins the fray.

Guess which one of our 4 bottles wasn’t a whisky after all?

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