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Glenlivet 18 vs Oban 18: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Glenlivet 18 vs Oban 18 in this in-depth comparison and decide which SIngle Malt is better for You!

Glenlivet 18

NoseRipe fruit, apricot, caramel
PalateOrange, vanilla, baking spice
FinishLong, oak, dried fruit, cinnamon
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toGlenfiddich 18, Chivas Regal 18

Glenlivet is renowned for its smoothness and the 18 YO does not disappoint.

The nose is sweet and fruity, with a rich note of apricot and caramel.

The mouthfeel is overly smooth and harmless with a hint of sweet orange and vanilla and some baking spice coming behind.

The finish is long but dry, rich in oak, dried fruit and cinnamon, with pleasing warmth coming late to the party.

This malt is nicely balanced and smooth, but quite light lacking in character. This is an easy sipper, free of smoke and a good choice for those who prefer smooth drams without strong after taste.

Glenlivet 18 drinks nicely neat, water does very little for it as it’s good as is.

There are a few facts worth knowing about this malt:

  • Aged for 18 years using a combination of ex-Bourbon and Sherry casks made up of first-fill and refill types.

  • The distillery is currently owned by Pernod-Ricard, a French drinks giant that also holds household names like Chivas Regal and Jameson.

Oban 18

NoseSmoke, citrus, honey
PalateOak spice, apple, salted caramel, smoke
FinishLong, caramel, oak spice
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toOban 14, Talisker 18

The nose has a light smoke scent at first, followed by an orange note and a touch of honey.

On the palate, Oban 18 shows a good texture as it feels creamy. Flavor hits with oak spice at first followed by hints of apple and salted caramel come next with a very light hint of smoke.

The finish is long and pleasantly warm, with more oak spice to it and a touch of caramel.

Adding water makes it better as it tunes the oak spice which does not overwhelm other flavors but it’s a bit too high for my taste.

Not a bad whisky but I still find the Oban 14 to be a better dram as it’s slightly higher on the smoke with much less oak spice making a more approachable whisky.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Oban 18:

  • Aged in traditional bourbon barrels.

  • The distillery was built in 1794 by the brothers John and Hugh Stevenson located in Scottish west coast port of Oban.

  • Oban is neither a Highland Whisky nor an Islay Whisky but combines features of both.

  • Oban is a tiny little distillery producing around 650,000 liters of whisky annually; most of its production goes into some of Johnnie Walker‘s finest blends.

Glenlivet 18 vs Oban 18: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Glenlivet 18$135
Oban 18$160

Glenlivet 18 vs Oban 18: Which is better?

The Glenlivet is an easier drinker

WhiskyGlenlivet 18Oban 18
  • Glenlivet is a smoother whisky, perhaps a bit too easy to drink as it’s completely harmless making a great option for those who want a smooth night cap.

  • The Oban 18 is a bit too high in oak spice, it gets better when adding a drop of water, but I still prefer it’s 14 YO sibling that is better balanced and way more affordable making a better deal.

Oban 18 vs Talisker 18: Discover Which Scotch is Better for You!

Sunday 27th of March 2022

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