Some days I crack open a new bottle to grieve, like the day I realized that this surgery had to be my last, and to make sure it would be, I would have to give up my lifelong love affair with soccer decades earlier than I would’ve liked. This is not one of those days. Some days I crack open a new bottle to celebrate, like the day I get the all-clear from my surgeon to be done with weekly trips to physical therapy after months of hard work. This IS one of those days. I went to my local liquor store to pick out something new to celebrate. The manager was too busy with a shipment gone wrong, something about someone jamming too many wine bottles into one box, so I had to figure out something new and tasty on my own. Bourbon selection was depressing. There were a few scotches that I had never tried, but I landed on this guy for 2 main reasons. 1- On the back of the tube it recommends Talisker, which I know I like. That makes this bottle the friend of a friend. Edit: Talisker did not recommend Oban on the back of its box, so this just got awkward. 2- It calls itself a “western Highlands” scotch. I have no idea what that means. I’m generally positive on Highlands scotches, so western mean that plus cowboys, right? Forgive me Scotland, I know nothing of your history. Or geography. Nose is dough, green grapes, raisin, grain, tart yogurt. It’s gentle and inoffensive. Body is acidic. Spicier than I’d expected. I get jalapeño, cheddar, blue cheese. Finish is mild smoked meat, baking powder, and black pepper. Faint orange at the very end. A splash of water made some fascinating changes. It basically nullified the nose, which was already relatively mild. More interestingly, the water really helps this body, and introduces a sweet mouthfeel that I could not detect at that stage previously, along with caramel, pear, and rice pudding flavors. I can taste that mochi stuff I put on froyo sometimes. Finish still has a pleasant tongue buzz, but there’s vanilla, toffee, dark chocolate, and possibly raspberry. I like this scotch. I don’t love it, but that’s okay. At the price I paid for it, I doubt I will ever repurchase, and I’d probably recommend mooching this from a friend or buying a glass at a bar if you’re curious.
93.0 USD per Bottle