I’ll come straight out with it: I think single-malt scotch whisky is the most perfect, most divine, most satisfying distilled spirit to ever grace this planet. My “Bachelor (un)Party” centered around tasting and educating myself with a range of scotches… in moderation over a period of many hours, of course! I’ve had a sentimental attachment to certain distilleries’ offerings since then. One of my favorites is Oban, a potent whisky from the Western Highlands distilling region in Scotland. West Highland scotches tend to have an earthy/peaty quality in the aroma, and a taste that starts off sweet and leaves you with a dryish, peppery finish. A related single-malt is Talisker, about which someone said, “Talisker is not a drink, it is an interior explosion, distilled central heating; it depth charges the parts, bangs doors and slams windows. There’s nothing genteel about Talisker.” Wheee!
So last night, I said goodbye to my beloved bottle of Oban, finishing its last ounces off in a side-by-side comparison with a new single-malt that I picked up with some birthday money, a Glenfarclas. Below are my tasting notes, taken with assistance from a great site, scotchwhisky.com.
Oban 14 yr. old
- Appearance/Colour: Light Honey
- Intensity/Complexity: Warming, Sharp
- Aroma: Estery (Solvent- Piney), Woody (New Wood- Sap-like), Feinty (Leathery- Leather Sofa)
- Mouthfeel: Faintly viscous (bottle was opened a year ago), Smooth, Clean
- Primary Taste: Sweet & Salty, like a good trail mix… Caramel with bite
- Finish: Flavor fades normally, but it’s got some noticeable astringency.
Glenfarclas 12 yr. old
- Appearance/Colour: Golden Amber
- Intensity/Complexity: Warming, Mellow
- Aroma: Estery (Solvent- Cream Soda), Winey (Brandy)
- Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied (not watery but not syrupy), Creamy, Clean
- Primary Taste: balanced Sweet & Bitter, Some wood/earth
- Finish: Lasting flavor, but not very much astringency at all.
EDIT 26APR07: Click the thumbnailed picture below to get a visual comparison.