Oban Distillers Edition: US vs Europe version

  • newmiramax
    Topic creator
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    Joined: 18.12.2014Posts: 1Ratings: 0

    I have a question: to your expertise, is it true that Oban Distillers Edition distributed in the US is different than the one in Europe?

    I tried Oban Distillers Edition 98 in Italy this summer and it was outstanding. Smokey notes, I just could not stopped drinking it.

    I purchased a bottle in Los Angeles (where I live), same vintage, and I don't like it! completely tasting notes.

    Some people have told me that Oban does a different version for the American market, less smoke and more vanilla. I called Oban distillery but nobody knows anything about it (or at least they act like they dont). I sent an email to Diageo but no reply.

    So my question: to your expertise, is it true that Oban Distillers Edition distributed in the US is different than the one in Europe?


    If so, do you know if Talisker and Caoil Ila do the same? making a different version for the american market.

    Thanks All!

  • horst_s Administrator horst_s Joined: 01.07.2014Posts: 507Ratings: 702
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    I have seen more than a dozen bottlings of Oban DE in the last years. Everyone is a batch with a limited amount of bottles. Oban has by my knowledge the smallest output of the Classic Malt Distilleries. Therefore the batch size should be quite small. A few dozen casks.

    I also found different tastes in these batches. The bottles for the U.S. market have a size of 0.75 litres in contrast to the 0.7 litres in Europe. So I imagine, that the bottlings have been done with different content. It is quite an effort to change the mechanics of the bottling line to a different bottle size.

    There is also the chance, that you received a bad bottle. Bad not in the meaning, that it tastes really bad but different. We learnt over time, that some staff in Scotland does not work really properly. Whenever you change the whisky in a bottling line, you have a certain amount of whisky, which mixes with the next one filled. This 'dead' volume lies between 10 litres in small lines and up to several times this volume in big lines with chillfiltration.

    I can't say, which of the possibilities from above fits your experience. But there is also another possibility. You feel and taste differently in pleasant moods than at home in the daily routine. The content may be quite similar - but you felt differently.

    Kind regards, Horst Luening, Master Taster, Whisky.com
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