Photograph: Cyocum

Oban Distillery

Oban Distillery is a whisky distillery in the Scottish west coast port of Oban. The town of Oban in Argyll sprung up around the distillery after it was built. The distillery only has two pot stills, making it one of the smallest in Scotland. Oban is currently owned by Diageo.


The distillery was built in 1794 by the brothers John and Hugh Stevenson and operated by him until 1866 when it was bought by Peter Curnstie. It was then acquired by Walter Higgin in 1883 and rebuilt. In 1898, Alexander Edward, who also owned Aultmore Distillery, bought out Higgin. In its 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 Distillers Company Limited 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. In 1989 a new visitors’ centre was installed.


The Oban distillery is primarily known for its aged 14 years single malt Scotch, which is marketed as part of United Distillers’ Classic Malts range, launched in 1988. Recently they introduced “Oban Distiller’s Edition” in which the whisky is finished in a sherry cask prior to bottling.