Oban release honours three generations of MacLean family distillers

Oban release honours three generations of MacLean family distillers

A limited-edition bottling raises a glass to three generations of the MacLean family who have worked at the site on Stafford Street

News | 31 Jul 2019 | By Christopher Coates

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A new, limited-edition bottling has been announced that is exclusively available for purchase at Oban Distillery.

Named 'Old Teddy', it is the first Oban single malt whisky of a new series called 'The MacLeans', which is inspired by the personal stories of the MacLean family. Unveiled at an event at the distillery on Saturday 20 July, 'Old Teddy' celebrates 66 years of MacLean family service at the site on Stafford Street and highlights the expertise and dedication passed on from grandfather down to grandson.

The family's whisky story began in 1953 with Old Teddy, a first-generation master distiller, whose dedication and skills were inherited by his son, Young Teddy, who joined in 1985. Grandson Derek followed in 2017 and still works at the distillery to this day as Senior Operator.

Personally selected by Derek, the new release aims to deliver a 'delightful balance of distillery character and cask influence' and has been matured in 60% refill American oak hogsheads and 40% 'ex-bodega' sherry butts. It has been bottled at 51.7% ABV.

Derek said: “This unique bottling is a celebration of our heritage and pays homage to my grandfather, whose fine craftmanship has been preserved in the heart and soul of the distillery at Oban. This bottling is inspired by Old Teddy’s warm and gentle nature, physical strength and pride as dedicated maltster. It is a dram he would be proud of.”

Derek also shared a poem exclusively with Whisky Magazine to mark the occasion, which we have reproduced in full below.

Oban: The MacLeans — Old Teddy is available exclusively at the distillery from July 2019, with only 3,960 bottles available to purchase for £150 per 70cl bottle.

Whisky With A Why
By Derek MacLean

Out of a land so rugged and pure
Comes a character of liquid that will always endure.
From the charge of the stills, to the fill of the cask
Whisky with a why, I hear you ask.

Recipes and tales passed down through generations
From the cut of the spirit to our wort fermentations.
Time is the key, my grandfather said
Whisky with a why, born and bred.

The clear heart that is guarded and safe
Kissed by the copper and hugged by the stave.
This Scottish tradition, I hold dear to mine
Whisky with a why, for auld lang syne.

Out of the darkness, I emerge mature
The water of life, salty and pure.
From the Highlands, the Islands, the Lowlands it's born
Whisky with a why, cut like a thorn.

From the taste on your lips, to the tingling of senses
Like a Scottish prescription, a decanter dispenses.
Our little town, by hills it's surrounded
Whisky with a why, by the Stevensons was founded.

Our warehouses bonded, like father and son
Just as we keep tradition in every run.
In America, Ireland and in Japan it's refined
Whisky with a why, 'cos in Scotland it's defined.
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