News: Oban Little Bay

Diageo launched very discretely a new expression last week: Little Bay
  • Diageo
  • NAS
  • 43% ABV
  • Small casks
We all know Oban as a part of the Diageo Classic Malts series representing the Highlands Region with a 14 year old whisky. The lantern-shaped copper-pot stills produce 650,000 liters of whisky annually.

Oban means “little bay” in ancient Gaelic. So it seems they followed the trend of Gaelic names and did not look very far for an original name for their new NAS whisky. Little Bay is crafted by taking mature Oban whisky and resting the whisky in small casks for some time. This extra maturation exposes the whisky to new and fresh oak, resulting in a deeper smoothness and richer flavor.

Tasting notes

Oban Little Bay has a deep aroma of sea salt, rich oak tannins, espresso beans and citrus. Notes of dried spices, Christmas cake, brown sugar and oak dominate the palate, and lead to an elegant finish with touches of smoke and fruit.

On Little Bay

We don't know much about this Oban Little Bay. Ruben Luyten from Whiskynotes posted a picture of the new whisky. The website of Diageo features no information on it at all.

What 'mature whisky' exactly means, how long the whisky is finished in smaller casks, or the size of these casks remains unknown. Since whisky makers expect us to have blind confidence in their craftsmanship, we will probably never know these details.

Whether this NAS Little Bay will replace the standard 14yo or will it be positioned next to the classic malt is still unknown. The only thing we can distill from their marketing text is that the finishing is done in virgin oak casks.

Price is estimated around 60€, 15€ more expensive then its 14 year old brother.

To be continued...

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