Oban "Little Bay" Limited Edition Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Finally, an unimpeachable counterpoint to the rally cry against no age statement whisky. Oban Little Bay is everything that Oban 14 is, and more. A rich, fruity, malty nose showcases dried apricot, dark chocolate, and salt. On the palate, Little Bay explodes with flavor, combining malt with orange, chocolate, and blackberry. Clove and oak spice join the party in the mid-palate, which shows superb balance and integration. A long, slightly dry, citrusy spice finish caps off a stunning whisky. (Fall 2015)
It's not often we see the classic malts of Diageo expand into new releases of their iconic whiskies, but the Oban Little Bay marks that very occasion. Aged in smaller casks to increase the ratio of wood to whisky, the influence is perceptible in the weight of the Little Bay and not so much the flavor (which is a welcome relief!). There is no toasty quarter cask flavor, but rather a soft and supple nose of stone fruit and a rounded, mellow mouthful of dried apricots with just a bit of phenolics on the finish. Those looking for bold flavor should look towards Lagavulin or the other Diageo classic malts because this is yet another gentle dram from Oban; as it should be.