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Oban Distillery, Oban,
Tel: +44 (0)1631 562110
Fax: +44 (0)1631 563344
Please contact the distillery to confirm before travelling
Oban Distillery Visitor Centre Information
Contact +44 (0)1540 672219
March-December Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm
June-October Also Sat 9.30am-4.30pm
July-August Also Sun 12.30pm-4.30pm
Oban Scotch Whisky
Distillery Style Tasting Notes
Nose: Fresh, coastal, malty with a hint of peat.
Palate: Light bodied. Coastal with gentle fruits and fresh peat.
Finish: Long and smooth.
Founded in 1794 by brothers John and Hugh Stevenson
Location Highland region western district Town centre of Oban
Water source Loch Gleann a’ Bhearraidh.
Oban Whisky Distilling Equipment
Stainless steel mash tun
4 European larch washbacks
2 Lampglass shaped stills
Traditional worm condensers
Matured in American oak bourbon casks some double matured in Montilla Fino Sherry casks
Oban Scotch Whisky Distillery History
The Stevenson brothers John and Hugh settled in Oban in 1778 At the time Oban was little more than a fishing village. Together they established a boat building yard, a tannery and in the 1790s a brewery, which had become the Oban distillery by 1794. The town soon developed around the distillery.
In 1822 Hugh’s son Thomas Stevenson became the distillery manager and purchased the other owners’ shares. Unfortunately Thomas Stevenson became bankrupt in 1829 due to financial difficulties brought about by supporting his brother in a printing business in Edinburgh. He attempted to satisfy his creditors by supplying them with slates and whisky. However his oldest son, John, managed to keep the company in the family and operated the distillery until 1866 when Peter Curnstie purchased the distillery.
The distillery was then acquired by Walter Higgin in 1883 and between 1890 and 1894 he dismantled and rebuilt the distillery a section at a time, in order to keep up production - such was the demand for Oban' malt whisky. He carefully replicated the famously small stills and other traditional features in order to preserve the quality of the whisky
Alexander Edward, who also owned Aultmore Distillery, bought out Higgin. In 1898 forming the Oban & Aultmore Distilleries Ltd. However during the new company’s first year of operation it suffered major losses when a major blending company, Pattison's of Leith went bankrupt.
In 1923, Oban & Aultmore Distilleries Ltd. was sold to John Dewar & Sons The distillery traded under the new name of The Oban Distillery Company Ltd which joined the Distillers Company Limited in 1925. Then became part of the Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. in 1930
The distillery fell silent from 1931 until 1937, then during the Second World War. The location of the distillery, hemmed in between the cliffs and the other town buildings, prevented further expansion and production decreased gradually until 1969 when the distillery was mothballed.
Production resumed in 1972 when the stillhouse was rebuilt with a new wash- and spirit still. In 1989 a new visitors' centre was installed.
Since 1990 the whisky has been promoted as part of the Classic Malts of Scotland range. The business is now part of Diageo
In 1998 the Distillers Edition Oban bottling was launched, which is matured on Montilla sherry casks. It was awarded a gold medal at the International Wines and Spirits Competition in 2002
Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery Bottlings
Oban Aged 14 Years
Oban Distillers Edition
Distillery tasting notes supplied by Diageo
Oban 14 year old Single Malt Scotch Strength: 43% ABV
A bustling seaside resort has grown up around Oban distillery in the two centuries since it set up home in a fishing village. The West Highland malt is still produced in the same unhurried, traditional fashion.
Appearance: Olive gold.
Nose: Rich sweetness and fruits - oranges, lemons and pears, with sea-salt and peaty smokiness.
Body: Full, rich.
Palate: Mouth-filling late autumn fruits - dried figs and honey-sweet spices; followed by a smoky malty dryness.
Finish: Long, smooth-sweet finish with oak-wood, dryness and a grain of salt.
Oban Distillers edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky Strength: 43% ABV
The founders of Oban distillery were entrepreneurs who imported and exported goods for which they could sense a demand. They would have approved of the Spanish influence brought to bear in this secondary cask finish.
Appearance: Deep gold.
Palate: Sweeter than usual on the palate, rich fruit flavours are nonetheless complemented by a typical briny character.
Finish: The finish is long with the influence of Montilla Fino cask-wood.
Oban 20 year old 1984 Single Malt Scotch Whisky Strength: 57.9% ABV
A second special limited release, following the very well received 32 year old expression in 2002, from one of the smallest and oldest distilleries in Scotland. Only 1,260 numbered bottles worldwide.
Appearance: Pale amber.
Palate: Fresh with traces of peach and acid drops. As it develops it fades gently, but retains a delicate lavender-like perfume.
Finish: Medium length, with a trace of char in the aftertaste.
Oban Older Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery Discontinued Bottlings
Oban 20 Years Old
Oban 20 year old 1984
Oban Bicentenary Manager’s Dram 16 year old 1794-1994
Oban 32 year old 1969