Google Dining at Deanston

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

November 4, 2021


Dining at Deanston

Sort of. We'll first have two 'funny' OBs, then two more serious IBs. Still, should be fun… It's no secret that we've become Deanstonites at Château WF, I believe we're now trying some almost every month! Because Deanston is good fun and when you chat with them you do not have the impression that you're talking to the people who are running Van Cleef & Arpels or the Pentagon. See what I mean?

Deanston 'Virgin Oak' (46.3%, OB, +/-2021)

Deanston 'Virgin Oak' (46.3%, OB, +/-2021) Three stars and a half
No worries, it was only finished in virgin oak, this shouldn't be plank juice. What's more, the price remains very fair, having said that I had tried a Deanston 'Finished in Virgin Oak' back in 2011 and had thought it was a little… plankish (WF 79). Let's see… Colour: white wine. Nose: no, it's clean, not a vanilla bomb, neither is it another Glen Ikea, it's rather gently malty, bready, with good yeast (baker's) and touches of bananas. So far so good, no quibble. Mouth: a few oak spices in the opening, such as the expected ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and turmeric, but it's all under control, while this baby would go on towards Stolle, anise cookies, caraway biscuits and just orangey custard. Finish: rather long, still on those oak spices, which would give it a wee feeling of readymade whiskey ginger (or ginger julep, whatever they call that cocktail). Comments: right, not exactly my preferred style but I believe we're already way above average.
SGP:551 - 83 points.

Deanston 2013/2020 'The Union Exclusive' (54.8%, OB, Organic fino finish)

Deanston 2013/2020 'The Union Exclusive' (54.8%, OB, Organic fino finish) Four stars
Wow, organic fino! The casks were sourced from Bodegas Robles, which are not in Jerez, rather in Montilla-Moriles. No problems whatsoever, I haven't seen the word 'sherry' anywhere on the bottle. As for The Union, I believe that's Deanston's consumer club. I think we should enrol! Colour: deep gold. Nose: butterscotch, walnut wine and focaccia all over the place. We shan't complain, we love all three. With water: some terpenes, menthol, aniseed, sweet mustard, caraway, fresh walnuts… Is that all the fino? Mouth (neat): wunderbar! Boy this thick punchy Deanston makes you speak German… Exactly the same roaming trio as on the nose, namely butterscotch, walnut wine and focaccia. With water: feels a bit 'lab' but who cares. Good spices, revolving around green walnuts. Once again a little butterscotch, as well as some orange blossom water, oriental pastry… Finish: long, drier, a little drying. The walnuts catching you in the end. Comments: more sport than whisky. I'll tell my doctor next time. Seriously, it's fun, unorthodox, and good but you have to like your walnuts. Oh come on, you see what I mean…

SGP:371 - 85 points.

Let's go indie…

Deanston 13 yo 2007/2020 (50.2%, Signatory Vintage for Whic, 1st fill sherry butt, cask #900144, 812 bottles)

Deanston 13 yo 2007/2020 (50.2%, Signatory Vintage for Whic, 1st fill sherry butt, cask #900144, 812 bottles) Four stars
A story about a high priestess here, I say why not. Colour: gold. Nose: no more whacky spices flying around, this is a gentler, cakier, better civilised classic malt whisky, with all things breads and cakes, and even croissants au beurre. Which, to this Frenchman, works as well as an old Bugatti, Delahaye or Avion-Voisin. Car enthusiasts will understand. With water: doughs! Mouth (neat): very good, rather earthy, with some liquorice wood, some gentian, celeriac eau-de-vie (of course, we make some in Alsace) and a classic development on sweet breads, including maize bread. With (just a drop of) water: ale, IPA, hops, branches, walnuts (the sherry I suppose), mustard sauce, 'that' fino… Finish: same. Long. Comments: very good, a gentler version of the official 'Union' bottle.
SGP:461 - 85 points.

Let's check an older, ex-refill one…

Deanston 25 yo 1996/2021 (50%, Hunter Laing, Old Malt Cask, refill hogshead, cask #HL18697, 216 bottles)

Deanston 25 yo 1996/2021 (50%, Hunter Laing, Old Malt Cask, refill hogshead, cask #HL18697, 216 bottles) Four stars and a half
Glad to have this one as the signature, I would suppose the distillery's DNA will show better. Colour: white wine (bravo!) Nose: it's lighter, but more complex as well, with whiffs of shy meadow flowers, herbs, white asparagus, salsify, porridge, cut flowers, perhaps even broccoli (not making this up), Brussels sprouts, pils beer… Intriguing and fascinating, really, even if you need to kind of work on it. Not hard malt as in hard rock, right. With water: right, but it truly is lovely. Splendid earthiness. Mouth (neat): fantastic, complex, even complicated. Not immediate, sexy malt whisky for sure, but it would launch tiny herbs, white fruits and green vegetables, some long-forgotten (such as, say parsnips) one after the other. A true machine-gun! With water: perfect. Same. Finish: same, perfect. A tad too dry and grassy, but there… Comments: a little intellectual? And why should we keep dumbing down everything on this planet? I say this is whisky to resist any foul-smelling metaverse to come.

SGP:461 - 88 points.

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







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