Oban is located on the west coast of Scotland and is one of the oldest active distilleries in Scotland, having been founded in 1794 by Hugh, John & James Stevenson. It is one of the few distilleries located in an urban environment, sitting in the centre of its namesake village, rather than the remote locations of most distilleries. Oban distillery sits on a cliff overlooking the village which has grown around it for over two centuries and, despite its relatively modest production capacity 670,000 litres, is at the heart of the local community.
Despite solid roots, the distillery has experienced its fair share of difficulties in recent times; falling silent between 1931 and 1937 and again between 1969 and 1972. It has been active since 1972 and has found burgeoning popularity thanks to an expanding core range of expressions (although independent bottles are very rare). Oban is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of Highland malt; its malty dry finish providing a perfect representation of the region’s taste profile.
The most popular Oban bottle is the 14 year old, which is the Highland representative in Diageo’s hugely popular Classic Malts series. In recent years Diageo have also released numerous special releases geared towards building a more prestigious perception of the brand. Most notably, there have been multiple ‘Distillers Edition’ expressions released from Oban. There was also a limited 32 year old bottling released in 2002, but this was limited to 6,000 bottles.