Oban bay reserve 43% ABV.

oban bay reserve
oban whisky logo


Mid gold with an orange hue in colour, with a lovely thick swirl line and thick legs.


Initially it’s fizzy up the nostrils, with sweet lemon, cocktail cherries, flapjack and cereals. There is royal icing aromas slowly coming through, and apricots, in general it’s rather light.


Mouthfeel is on the thinner side, but the palate is an improvement on the nose. There’s a whole basket of fruits here, those cherries, red apples, apricots, and raspberries, and it’s developing into darker fruits.

I must say that the mouthfeel improves with time, and it gradually becomes spicy, Sherry notes and cloves with figs and black currants. I’m going to add tizer too, with dandelion and burdock.


The finish is quite dark, tobacco leaves, star anise, Jamaican ginger cake, Black Forest gateau, and dark plums.

My thoughts

This is the first time iv’e tasted anything from the Oban distillery, i guess i just never got around to them, and if it wasn’t for Mark i still may not have. As more of a whisk(e)y drinker with some experience i have seen ranges of whisky around, and in general they don’t really interest me very much. The Game of Thrones series has been been doing the rounds on social media for various reasons, and i came to this whisky with a slightly negative feeling about it to be honest.

At 43% ABV the mouthfeel is quite thin, but that’s expected really, and the nose was quite light, but the palate is where it’s all happening, all of a sudden it gives you what you’d hoped for from the start, there’s loads going on.

Overall i enjoyed this whisky, but i couldn’t help thinking it could be an absolute belter at cask strength, or at least a 50%+ ABV. This is a bottle i’d enjoy another dram of any time, but most likely wouldn’t buy for myself, though it has put me in mind to check out more from Oban.

Bottle image courtesy of Whiskybase.com

A big thank you goes out to Mark – @awesomebarrett1, a Twitter whisky friend, who very kindly sent me a generous sample of this whisky.

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