Situated on the west coast, between Caledonian and Crinan Canals, Oban is known as the "Gateway to the Isles". It is primarily a fishing village, but it also serves as a ferry departure for the Isle of Mull and the Isle of Jura, homes of several other distilleries. Campbeltown can be reached within a long days drive down the Mull of Kintyre. So, with all of this in mind, how do we charaterize this malt? Island? Campbletown? Well, it is a Highland malt just becuase it is NOT on an island and too far from Campbeltown to be in that category.
Oban was more or less a hamlet back in the late 18th Century before it was greatly emhance by the settling of 2 brothers called Stevenson. The Brothers were involved in slate quarrying, housebuilding, and shipbuilding, and, in 1794, Hugh Stevenson built the the Oban Distillery. Oban was operated under Stevenson until 1866 when it was bought by Peter Curnstie. It was then acquired by Walter Higgin in 1883 and rebuilt.
By the late 1800's, Oban was a busy port which shipped wool, whisky, slate, and kelp to Liverpool and Glasgow. A new era of prosperity was also brought to Oban via the railway and tourism. In 1898, Alexander Edward, who also owned Aultmore Distillery, bought out Higgin. In it's first year of operation, it suffered major losses when a major blending company, Pattison's of Leith, went under.
In 1923, Oban was sold to Dewars and joined DCL with that company in 1925. It fell silent from 1931 until 1937 and again from 1969 to 1972 when a new still house was built.
Presented here is a 1969 malt among the last produced at the old distillery. Truly a piece of history.