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Macallan 18 vs Oban 18: Head to Head!

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

Macallan 18 Double Cask

macallan-18 double-cask
NoseDried fruit, nuts, orange, ginger
PalateSherry, honey, vanilla, oak
FinishMedium, oak, sherry
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toBlue Label, Glenlivet 18

The nose is incredibly pleasing, full of dried fruit, roasted nuts, orange and a tad of ginger.

On the palate, Macallan 18 offers a good mouthfeel as it has a good texture. Flavor is full of sherry and honey at first, followed by vanilla and pleasant oak.

The finish is moderately long, with oak to it and more sherry and just a pleasant warming note coming late to the party.

Macallan 18 is a super smooth and yet complex malt with lots of depth. Flavor is full of sherry product of the aging in sherry casks, but well balanced against oak and vanilla flavors.

It has a creamy body and a soft mouthfeel, with no harshness or alcohol burn making it incredibly easy to sip.

This is a whisky to drink neat as it does not have any off-putting note, such as peat, smoke, medicinal notes or any complicated flavor; this is just a smooth sherried Scotch that goes down nicely.

Overall, the Macallan 18 is a tasty and smooth Single Malt Scotch rich in sherry notes and extremely smooth at a price point that demands you to put a mortgage on your home making me consider the Macallan 15 which is just as good and way for affordable.

  • Aged for 18 years in both American and European sherry seasoned oak casks.
  • The Macallan distillery is located in Craigellachie, Moray, Scotland.
  • This brand is owned by the Edrington Group along Glenrothes and Highland Park.

Oban 18

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, Highland Park 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 terrible 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.

Macallan 18 vs Oban 18: Price comparison

Price are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Macallan 18$410
Oban 18$160

Macallan 18 vs Oban 18: Which is better?

Macallan 18 is remarkably smoother

WhiskyMacallan 18Oban 18
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Macallan 18 YO is an overly smooth easy drinker with not one trace of harshness but quite pricey with several good sherried whiskies in the markets for less money; consider the Macallan 15 which tastes pretty much the same and costs a fraction.

  • Oban 18 is not bad but you get too much oak spice needing a dash of water to tune it down. If you are particularly interested in this brand I suggest you look into the Oban 14 which I consider to be a better balanced pour.

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