Willie JJ wrote:...I think the Craggy just wins for me.
For me as well. Two principal reasons...
1. Degree of complexity (the Cragganmore is, at its best, one of THE most nuanced single malts around).
2. Price point (the Oban, perhaps due to limited production, but even so, is VERY expensive in my neck of the woods when compared to the cost of the Cragganmore).
As it happens, I visited the Oban Distillery a few weeks ago, and came away with two main impressions. Firstly, a drop or two of water (splashed into but NOT swirled in the glass) seemed to allow the flavours of the 14YO to literally 'explode' on the palate. Secondly, the best whisky I tasted there was a 13YO distilled in 1996 and drawn directly from the cask (at approximately 54% alcoholic strength)... It displayed a much more intense surge of saltiness than the standard 14YO version and, in that sense, reminded me a little bit of the long discontinued 12YO release in the decanter-styled bottle.
And I 100% agree with dramtastic that a 46%ABV bottling strength could dramatically improve matters... Even better if the whisky were not chill filtered!
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