Bottles are reflective, liquid is reflective, and people, under ideal conditions, are also reflective. People who are holding bottles and drinking liquid may be particularly reflective, especially if that liquid is good whisky. As such, when I broached my nip of the Oban 14, and the first swirls of balanced ambery smokey peaty melony liquid goodness began to eddy in my mouth, I was moved to soliloquize, “Will I write an Oban rave or an Oban pan? Perhaps, like Brouwer and the Intuitionists of Mathematics, I can eschew the Law of the Excluded Middle, and write something between a pan and a rave. Perhaps at some point very soon, I will stop soliloquizing, and start reviewing. Perhaps.”
[painfully full beat]
The ghost of a departed quantity of tobacco, or maybe a candle snuffed out in a mahogany study, several rooms over in a renovated converted Victorian multifamily home. Tantalizing hint of heat, but not enough to predict that spring has finally arrived. Balanced, not like the 14-year-old Nadia Comaneci pwning the beam in the 1976 Olympics, but rather like a diaper-clad 14-month-old toddler, who has barely enough mastery of her proprioceptive system to totter to-and-fro while screaming incoherently for low-fat vanilla yogurt. In short, the blandest, most vanilla Wonder Bread™ of scotch. Wonder Bread™ goes great with BBQ, PB&J, and Marmite. Anyone should gladly receive their favorite sandwich made with Wonder Bread™, but if he were as ill-mannered as a sullen teenager, fretting at the house of a disliked relative, he’d demand slices of multigrain bread, or grilled panini, or crispy dark pumpernickel (with aioli, preferably). Same with the Oban: It’s delicious in its own right, but the character is toned down from the vibrancy of the raconteur to the inoffensiveness of good ol’ Charlie Brown from Peanuts.
The Oban 14 rates as For Better or For Worse. Sure, you’ll read it every day, and occasionally laugh; but somehow it’s not funny, but every now and then, you might have cause to mention it when talking with an older relative who just doesn’t get the whole interweb thingie. Oh, and even though it’s in color on Sundays, so what? It’s still only For Better or For Worse.