Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added colouring: No
Owner: Distell Group Ltd.
Average price: € 50.00
Official website: www.deanstonmalt.com
Part of the Distell group, which also owns Bunnahabhain and Tobermory, Deanston was founded as a distillery very recently, converting in 1966 an old cotton mill dating back to 1785.
Its proximity to the River Teith, with the capacity for hydro-electricity generation to support the entire operation (the only distillery in Scotland), contributed decisively to the choice of site, with the business being run in an artisan spirit by just ten employees.
The cotton mill had been closed for a year when James Finlay & Co, Brodie Hepburn & Co, and A.B (Sandy) Grant decided to buy and convert it into a distillery, starting production in 1966 and opening in January 1967.
The first single malt, Old Bannockburn, was released in 1971, along with a blended, Teith Mill, both of which were also sold in cardboard boxes in a kiosk at Blair Drummond Safari Park.
Invergordon Distillers took over the business just a year later, starting to produce whisky under the Deanston label in 1974, until it closed due to the crisis that hit the industry in 1982.
The current owners, initially known as Burn Stewart Distillers, reopened production in 1990.
The spirit of craftsmanship permeates the production of this whisky, which eschews the use of modern, computerised technology in its entirely hand-made production, with signatures on the label to seal this tradition. It’s also the first distillery to have produced organic whisky since 2000.
The whisky is still matured in the weaving shed built in the early 19th century.
The distillery has two basic versions, this 12-year and Virgin Oak, while there are several special editions made over the years with different ageings (Marsala, Sherry, red wine) as well as those with organic whisky.
Full gold in the glass.
Bourbon ageing is the very clear signature on the nose, with the wood spices evident (nutmeg, cinnamon) along with peach, ripe banana, vanilla, orange blossom, honey drop. Malt and a hint of resin are in the background, along with a touch of ginger on the length. Soft and youthful.
The palate is lively and peppery, spicy, with a good texture showing a sweet soul of vanilla, yellow fruit (peach, apple), malt and caramel mottled with notes of marzipan, bitter orange, rhubarb, liquorice root. Ginger biscuits.
Medium long and spicy finish of marzipan, liquorice, lemon zest, vanilla.
A twelve year old that shows all its youth with proud boldness, offering a good balance of aromas and flavours with perhaps some excess from the alcohol that bites harder than it should, but which comes across as a solid and pleasant dram.