Oban Little Bay, Small Batch, 43% ABV

Color: a perfectly deep caramel amber, screaming E150. Nothing more need be said.

Nose: there is little EtOH. Gentle wafts of salted caramel and cherry cola dominate the underlying aromas of salty coastal air and grass. One of the more minimal noses one will get in a whisky over 40% ABV.

Mouth feel is light and crisp without any syrupy nature or oiliness to it, suggesting chill filtration.

Palate is dry Olorosso sherry cask spice and fruit with a hint of fennel and black pepper on a mild coastal base of brine and malted barley. The tart dry and crisp malty-oaky flavor that rides into the finish can be appreciated as cocoa or dark chocolate.

Finish is dry sherry in European oak with brine lingering for a surprisingly long time.

The Distillery website states:
“Bold and complex. Our whisky boasts luscious notes of Christmas pudding, citrus, and spice, with a dark-chocolate finish.”
It also speaks of almond nuttiness, orange citrus fruit, green apples and good viscosity.

While I call poppycock to the idea that the body is medium with good viscosity, I agree that the finish is more long with dark chocolate tannins. Regarding another part of the distillery’s description, the almond is the residue of what I believe to be finishing in smaller ex-Olorosso sherry European red oak casks after primary maturation in ex-bourbon casks.

Actually, I do like this whisky and at under $55 US, it is one that belongs in every whisky drinker’s cabinet. However, I have seen it well over $75 in recent months, and I can say that in my opinion, it isn’t worth purchasing at a price of $75 or more. All in all, a nice coastal highland whisky for everyday drinking. For perspective, Little Bay compares with Glen Scotia Double Cask NAS, which I find routinely in the $50-$60 US range as of this writing in April 2019.