Uisge beatha: “the water of life”

My trip to the Oban distillery (July 2012).

photo courtesy of trip advisor

Even before I travelled to Scotland I had discovered a taste for scotch whisky.  I had tried quite a few different brands over the years but I had settled on Oban as my preferred choice.  Since it was also the beginning point of my trip to the Isle of Iona I had to make a stop at the distillery.

Oban is a small seaside town on the west coast of Scotland and I caught a train out of Glasgow to reach it.  I ended up spending a total of 3 nights in Oban I enjoyed the town so much.

After my boat tour of the Isle of Iona, I spent the next day exploring town and did the distillery tour.  The distillery is right in the middle of town and predates the town itself.  It is an impressive older building with a view of the bay.


Oban is a highland scotch and typically sold in Canada as a 14 year old single malt.  The tour was quite interesting and the guide was very informative and had a sense of humour though I was the object of his ridicule at one point.  Once he found out I was in school for a chemical engineer he told me to “get the hell out” and made it seem like I was trying to steal trade secrets.  He was convincing enough that I had to ask if he was kidding before he gave in and continued the tour.

We got the chance to try a sample of a barrel that was only aged 6 years to see the difference in flavour and the strong alcohol level.  In the tasting room I got to purchase a glass of their specialty 17 year old which I should have bought a bottle of to take home.  Even with the exchange, the prices were a third of the cost here in Canada.  I did get a bottle of the 14 year old for making friends later in my trip.




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