Reviewing 2 Single-Malts

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
  • Aroma
    • Intensity/Complexity: Warming, Sharp
    • Aroma: Estery (Solvent- Piney), Woody (New Wood- Sap-like), Feinty (Leathery- Leather Sofa)
  • Flavor
    • 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
  • Aroma
    • Intensity/Complexity: Warming, Mellow
    • Aroma: Estery (Solvent- Cream Soda), Winey (Brandy)
  • Flavor
    • 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.

Oban & Glenfarclas

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One response to “Reviewing 2 Single-Malts

  1. Glenfarclas is one of my Dad’s favourites… good choice Russell!

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