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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

May 8, 2018


Deanston and Deanston

Every year there’s an old name that never quite caught much light that’s coming to the foreground. There used to be Ledaig, Benromach, or perhaps Ben Nevis, and in 2017, in my book, it was Deanston. I think they did some amazing work with this formerly rather obscure malt whisky, but let’s check if that wasn’t just a flash in the pan…

Deanston 18 yo (46,3%, OB, +/-2017)

Deanston 18 yo (46,3%, OB, +/-2017) Four stars
We’ve tried a Cognac cask back in 2015 that’s been very good (WF 86) but this newer 18 was rather finished in first fill bourbon. Bah, just some easy re-racking, no flavouring/doping/doctoring, I suppose… Just hope whisky’s utter villain, Vanilla-Man, was not involved… Colour: gold. Nose: you know, a little vanilla is fine if it comes with some rather perfect bready tones, which is exactly what’s happening here. A lot of sourdough, fresh baguette, real pancakes, leaven… That, I’m very fond of, as some may have noticed. Mouth: genius. Sure it’s a bit spicy, and actually quite wild as far as bready flavours are concerned, but I’m just very fond of this kind of toasted, roasted, and very malty combination. Café latte, toasted bread, wholegrain bread, shortbread, speculoos, cinnamon rolls… This baby reminds us that whisky is made out of grain. Perfect body. Finish: medium, with more citrus, which just always works in any whisky’s finish, in my opinion. Just the doughy sourness in the aftertaste is a wee tad ‘too much’ for me, but that’s a detail. Comments: excellent, and very close to the raw materials. Like, rum = sugarcane, mezcal = agave, whisky = grain, and brandy = grapes. All the rest is literature. Right, marketing.
SGP:551 - 87 points.

Deanston 14 yo (57.9%, OB for Quaich Bar Singapore, Spanish oak, 200 bottles, 2017)

Deanston 14 yo (57.9%, OB for Quaich Bar Singapore, Spanish oak, 200 bottles, 2017) Four stars
Cool, but what is Spanish oak, exactly? Oak that really grew on Spanish soil and that managed to avoid the building of the (supposedly) invincible armada? Or just any oak that saw any Spanish product? Sherry? Brandy? Montilla? Huelva? Else?... Not sure we’ll ever know, so, let us proceed… Colour: gold. Nose: certainly less immediate than the lovely 18 yo, possibly because of the higher strength. Say croissants, muesli, and… say churros. Yes we adapt. With water: more earth and mushrooms and humus. We shan’t complain. Mouth (neat): extremely to my liking. Spike-y oranges and lemons, then limestone and clay, then spearmint, then iodine, then mineral oils. Are they trying to Springbankise Deanston? Well if that’s the case, they are doing reasonably well, I would say. With water: these medicinal touches that are coming out are making it even more Springbanky. Quinine, aspirin tablets, Vitamin C tablets… Finish: rather long, and even more mineral and medicinal. And bready! Comments: Springbank with drops of Longrow, actually. The right path for sure, if I may… In short, keep watching Deanston!
Update: Our friend Rainer tells us this is most probably the same juice as that of the 'at the distillery' bottling and that the casks were ex-Lepanto brandy. Thank you Rainer.
SGP:452 - 87 points.

(Thank you Benjamin!)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Deanston we've tasted so far






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