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Clynelish 14 vs Oban 14: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Clynelish 14 vs Oban 14 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Clynelish 14

clynelish-14
NoseCitrus, baking spice, smoke
PalateHoney, pepper, ripe fruit, smoke
FinishLong, bittersweet, mineral
Alcohol content92 proof (46% ABV)
How to drinkNeat or add water
Similar toCaol Ila 12, Talisker 10

The nose is subtle and pleasant with hints of citrus at first, followed by cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of smoke.

On the palate, the Clynelish feels waxy. Flavor hits with a bit of pepper up-front, yet nothing severe, and as you let it develop honey and ripe fruit appear, along subtle smoke.

The finish is long and bittersweet with a mineral touch to it.

Clynelish 14 is a nice and tasty easy drinker. It is complex, creamy, rich in malt, smooth, striking a nice balance between fruity and spicy notes.

It has a subtle taste and warmth which pleasantly lingers giving a touch of peat in the after taste.

Its mouthfeel can be a bit peppery at times but I strongly suggest to take your time with this Scotch, let it develop in the glass and add a bit of water.

The Clynelish becomes remarkably better with just a few drops of water as it opens-up nicely.

Overall, Clynelish is a Highland Whisky, displaying some of the peaty notes that you would expect to find in an Islay Whisky and the sweet and smooth notes from a Speyside Scotch making it particularly interesting.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Clynelish 14:

  • Aged for 14 years in bourbon and sherry barrels.

  • The original Clynelish distillery was built in 1819, next to the present operational Clynelish distillery, which was built in 1967.

  • Clynelish is the successor to Brora which closed in 1983.

  • 95% of Clynelish distillery productions goes into Johnnie Walker’s blends and is major contributor to the JW Gold Label.

Oban 14

oban-14
NoseRipe fruit, orange peel, smoke
PalateDried fruit, pear, apple, cinnamon
FinishLong, oak, baking spice, salt
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toBalvenie 14, Caol Ila 12

The nose is quite good as it kicks-off with a ripe fruit note, along citrus peel and a touch of smoke.

On the palate, Oban 14 provides a nice mouthfeel as the body feels creamy. Flavor hits with dried fruit at first, followed by pear and apple shrouded in baking spice and a gentle tad of smoke.

The finish is long and pleasantly warm, leaving an aftertaste of oak, baking spice and salt.

Oban 14 has a very pleasant smoky taste that doesn’t overwhelm other notes making it a good choice for those who want smoke in moderation when compared to Smoky Islay Malts that offer blasts of smoke.

This is a nice and easy sip that you can drink either neat or adding a dash of water bringing additional sweetness and more oak, although I like it as is.

This single malt was aged for 14 years in ex-bourbon barrels and you can tell as there are many bourbon-like notes in it. So if you are fond of this liquor and want to add a tad of smoke Oban is a no-brainer.

Oban is one of Scotland’s smallest distilleries as it only has 2 pot stills, making it a midget when compared to Glenfiddich that has 30.

It dates back to 1794 when it was founded by the brothers John and Hugh Stevenson in the Port of Oban which was named after the distillery and not the other way around!

Overall, this is pretty good Single Malt Scotch for those who want restrained smoky notes.

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:

  • Oban ages for 14 years in ex-bourbon barrels.

  • Earned a Gold Medal at the 2013 International Wine & Spirit Competition.

Clynelish 14 vs Oban 14: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Clynelish 14$75
Oban 14$95

Clynelish 14 vs Oban 14: Which is better?

Oban is a crowd-pleaser

WhiskeyClynelish 14Oban 14
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Both malts are restrained on the smoke yet the Oban is better balanced, with a better finish, providing a better overall experience.

  • Clynelish is good, just that it needs water to become more approachable as it can hit a bit with the spice, while the Oban is nice coming off the bottle.

What do Clynelish and Oban have in common?

Both are owned by Diageo

These brands are part of Diageo’s portfolio that includes over 200 brands in every niche with the most recognizable being Johnnie Walker.

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