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Oban 14 vs Oban 18: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Oban 14 vs Oban 18 in this head to head comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

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 toTalisker 10, Macallan 12

The nose is quite promising 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.

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.

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 toHighland Park 18, 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.

Oban 14 vs 18: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Oban 14$62
Oban 18$160

Oban 14 vs Oban 18: Which is better?

The Oban 14 is a nicer drinker

WhiskeyOban 14Oban 18
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The extended aging added too much oak spice to the 18 YO overwhelming other flavors.
  • The 14 YO is a bit smokier yet better balanced with nice caramel and mineral notes making a pleasing whisky.
  • If you are looking for an 18 YO single malt take a look at the Highland Park 18, which has many of the tasting notes of the Oban 18 but the oak spice is less noticeable and is sweeter due to the aging in sherry-seasoned casks.

Oban

Oban is a whisky distiller founded in 1794 and located in the Port of Oban, known as the “seafood capital of Scotland”.

This whisky is neither a Highland Whisky nor an Islay but has featured of both creating a category of its own.

This distillery is quite small with a production of a mere 650,000 liters of whisky annually, which is minuscule when compared to distilleries like Glenfiddich with an output of over 10,000,000 liters a year.

Most of Oban´s production ends up in some of Johnnie Walker’s best blends as they both belong to the same parent company.

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