Oban Distillery, founded in the late 18th century, is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. Situated right in the middle of the small coastal town of Oban, the distillery is also one of the few urban distilleries in Scotland. Due to its unique location, Oban has had very little space to expand over the years, which makes it relatively small, utilizing just one wash still, one spirit still, and one onsite dunnage warehouse.
Despite its relative size and limited production capacity, Oban is featured in Diageo’s “Classic Malts” range, representing the West Highlands. Oban sits right on the coast of the mainland, with the Isle of Mull just a short distance away. Although Diageo sources the malted barley used by the distillery, the local water source (Loch Glenn a’Bhearraidh) and onsite aging add hints of coastal flair to Oban’s single malts. Update 3/7/18: A trusted source informed me that Oban no longer utilizes its onsite warehouse. Rather, all casks are shipped from the distillery to a Diageo-owned factory warehouse in the lowlands near Glasgow.
Given its small production capacity, nearly all of the whisky Oban produces is utilized in its official single malt bottlings. Rarely will you find an independent bottling of Oban or a blended whisky that contains any Oban malt.