Friday, May 20, 2011

Oban 14 year: Highland single malt: love & pairings

I've been fortunate enough to try many Scotches in the past two years, and so far this is my favorite! A lovely nose, beautiful color, delicious & completely smooth... I'll stop there because there are lots of excellent tasting notes online. So go them look up or just take my word for it and try it. :-)

Oban 14 year is relatively common, but not the first single malt a bar is likely to stock (which usually is an Islay. I wish I knew why.). Its usually about $12-$16/glass. Don't spend more than about $70-75 per  750mL bottle in the US. I once found an independent store with Oban 14 year on sale for about $50 each and bought two bottles - score!

Anyway, I usually enjoy this classic malt by itself. But its great paired with creamy goat cheese - yum! I recommend Humboldt Fog if you can find it - its one of my favorite cheeses with or without Scotch. Do you have any experiences to share with pairing Oban? I'd love suggestions!

I also had success adding Oban to salad dressing. Try preparing a vinaigrette with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper. Add some chopped green onions, minced garlic and Oban - delicious with mixed baby greens, oranges, dried cranberries and toasted hazelnuts! Those of you who are also fans of nuts & fruit in your salads should try mixing it up - I bet substituting in pine nuts would be fabulous, for example!

Finally - if you happen upon a bottle of Oban 32 year in a bar, and if you have a couple of Andrew Jackson's that you can spare (or, as in my case, a friendly, tipsy bartender), then I highly recommend ordering a pour. What a story unfolds on your tongue!! I believe this was a special bottling that is hard to find nowadays, and that I may never experience again...

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