Moss Island Drams: Oban 14

A little over a month into “New York State on PAUSE,” Cuomo’s stay-at-home brand, and my brother-in-law has been doing his part to keep me home every evening. His latest gift, delivered via appropriate social distancing and with requisite face mask: Oban 14 year-old, 750 ml of 86-proof indulgence.

Oban 14 has a classic Scotch profile. Bright gold in the glass, the nose is sugar and oak. On the palate it’s round and gently sweet, expanding quickly with a gentle heat that lingers a bit. The finish is dry and slightly spicy, reminiscent of smoke but without any distinctive character, this dram’s main shortcoming.

I’d certainly serve Oban 14 as an introductory Scotch; it’s enjoyable but not too challenging. For the price, I don’t think it beats Balvenie Doublewood 12, my go-to gift bottle. RECEIVING it is another matter – I’ve greatly enjoyed this present. It’s a little too easy to drink…every sip pleases, and the glass is empty before I know it.