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Distillery in Focus:          Oban
Region: Highlands
Name: Oban
Status: Active
Website: http:www.discovering-distilleries.com, http:www.malts.com
Telephone: 01631 572002
Address: Stafford Street, Oban, Argyll and Bute, PA34 5NH
E-Mail: No
Visitor centre: Yes
Owner: Diageo
Established in 1794
Stills: 1 Wash and 1 Spirit stills
Percentage of single malts: 20%
Casks used for maturation: 100% Bourbon

Contribute(d) to the following blends: "Dewars", Bell's, and "Old Mull".

Oban Distillery

Regular Bottling:

Oban 14 YO 43%
Oban Distillers Edition 43% Montilla Fino Cask Finish

For tasting notes, see below.

As part of their limited edition, a 32 YO Oban distilled in 1969, a 20 YO Oban distilled in 1984 and a 18 YO for the US and distillery shop only. As part of the Manager's dram bottles (staff only), an Oban 13, 16, and 19 YO have been bottled at cask strength. In 2009 was released the first official single cask bottling of Oban, a 9 YO whisky distilled in 2009 as part of the Manager's choice serie.

Most of the Oban official bottlings (from left to right): Manager's Dram 1994 bicentenary anniversary, Manager's dram 13 YO (1990), Oban 32 YO 1969, Oban 18 YO (US exclusive bottling), Oban Distiller's Edition and Oban 14 YO.

Oban distillery History

 

The distillery was built in 1793 by the Oban Brewery Company, owned by the Stevensons brothers and the Cowbell Ales was produced. The next year, in 1794, the reason was changed to Hugh, John and James Stevenson &Co, when the distillation operation started. 1794 is considered as the year of the establishment of the distillery. The license was acquired 3 years later, in 1797. The distillery was then mothballed for some time, before the operation restarted in 1818. In 1824, the company was under the ownership of Thomas Stevenson until 1829 and then it was passed to John Stevenson. John remained the owner until 1852. From 1860 to 1877, the distillery was registered under the name Robert Walker. In 1878, William Gillies owned the distillery until 1883, although that some sources mentioned that the distillery was registered under the name Peter Cumstie from 1866 to 1883. Between 1883 and 1887, the distillery was rebuilt under the ownership of James Walter Higgin and new warehouses were built in 1890. In 1898, a partnership was formed as The Oban and Aultmore-Glenlivet distilleries Ltd. The distillery was sold in 1923 to John Dewar & Sons, and the distillery was renamed Oban Distillery Co. Ltd. And thence became property of the Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) in 1925. It was then transferred to its subsidiary, the Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd in 1930 then DCL acquired the entire share capital of the distillery. The distillery was then closed from 1930 to 1937, as well as during the Second World War. The floor malting operations were stopped in 1968, just before the closure of 1969 to 1972, when the still house was rebuilt. New warehouses were added in the 1980s.

The name was changed again in 1992 to "John Hopkins & Co".

Oban distillery from the outside
and from the inside court

Source: Distillery visit,The Scotch Whisky Book by Tom Bruce-Gardyne,The Making of Scotch whisky by John R. Hume & Michael S. Moss, The Whisky distilleries of Scotland and Irelandby P. Morrice and The Scotch Whisky Distilleries by Misako Udo
©www.whisky-news.com 05 April 09.

Tasted whiskies

Official Bottlings

Age  
Oban 12 YO, OB, 43% Rating: 16/20
Oban 14 YO, OB, 43%. B:2005 Rating: 13/20
Oban 200 Anniversary Manager’s Dram, 16YO, OB, 64%, B: 1994. Rating: 19/20
Oban 18 YO, OB, 43%, B:2008. 7700 b. Rating: 15/20
Oban 19 YO Manager’s Dram, OB, 59.24% Rating: 16/20
Oban 20 YO, OB, 57.9%, D: 1984, B: 2005. 1260 b. Rating: 17/20
Oban 21 YO Special Release 2013, OB, 58.5%, B: 2013 Rating: 16/20
   
   
Vintage  
Oban 1969, 32 YO, OB, 55.1%, B : 2002, 6000 b. Rating: 17/20
Oban 1990 Distillers Edition, OB, 43% Rating: 12/20
Oban Manager's choice 2000, 9 YO, OB, 58.7%, B: 2009, c. 1186, 534 b. Rating: 17/20
   
No age specified (NAS)  
Oban at the distillery only, OB, 55.2%, B:2010 Rating: 13/20

Independent Bottlings

Cadenhead's  
Oban 1963, 30 YO, Cadenhead’s, 52%, B: 1993. Rating: 19/20