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

August 25, 2020


A wee bucket of Deanston

Great work by Deanston, the name really got out of limbo in recent years, not only thanks to the indies! I’m starting to wonder if some distilleries will not simply overturn the hierarchy as far as single malts are concerned. Let’s talk about that again in 2030? And see what we have in the wee Deanston box…

Deanston 14 yo ‘Organic’ (46.3, OB, +/-2019)

Deanston 14 yo ‘Organic’ (46.3, OB, +/-2019) Three stars
There had already been an excellent 15 yo ‘Organic’ in 2017 (WF 87). Anyway, everything’s going up, just not the ages of our whiskies... Colour: white wine. Nose: pretty citric at first, chalky and lightly bready, with touches of fresh oak, vanilla, lemon curd and a good glass of early IPA, say Sierra Nevada style. There are more brewers making IPAs than there are distillers making gin these days, am I not right? Nice fresh nose. Mouth: a little too spicy for me this time, probably some new oak feeling a little too much. Pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom… Goes a little too far from me, this could have been Nigel Tufnel’s Deanston, if not The Goddam Gallows’ official tipple. Finish: long, a little brighter again (lemon peel) and with good vanilla, but the heavy-ish peppers keep pestering us in the aftertaste. Comments: most certainly a very good drop, but I’m not a huge fan of the carpenter-grade finishing (I suppose) they have done on it.
SGP:462 - 81 points.

Let’s change gear…

Deanston 12 yo 2007/2020 (64.4%, Signatory Vintage, sherry butt, cask #900145, 625 bottles)

Deanston 12 yo 2007/2020 (64.4%, Signatory Vintage, Kirsch Import, sherry butt, cask #900145, 625 bottles) Four stars and a half
Deanston at a lethal strength, wish me luck… Colour: gold. Nose: leaven, fresh wholegrain bread, concrete dust, brake fluid, raisins, a baker’s first dough roll in the morning, marmalade, a basket of very bitter oranges (the ones that first-time vistors always try to eat – once – when reaching Andalucía). With water: clay, unlit cigarettes and satay, that’s not a very usual combo but I think I’m am a fan. Mouth (neat): absolutely huge, and yet absolutely lovely, spicy, doughy, chalky and full of marmalade. Some kind of balance that hadn’t been found in the OB, in my opinion. With water: ah yes, orange blossom water, soft curry, a little leather, more blond tobacco, always this clay – or chalk – and more marmalade. Perhaps even lemon marmalade. Finish: long, very good, rather fresh, on the same flavours. Peppery aftertaste. Comments: feisty and breafkasty, although at almost 65%, such a breakfast could wreck your day. Say a Sunday brunch.
SGP:561 - 88 points.

Let’s make this a trio, with an older Deanston…

Deanston 22 yo 1996/2018 (55.4%, Golden Cask, cask # CM 250, 222 bottles)

Deanston 22 yo 1996/2018 (55.4%, Golden Cask, cask # CM 250, 222 bottles) Four stars and a half
More from this good little series by The House of MacDuff. Colour: straw. Nose: we’re in similar territories but this one’s a little closer to the raw distillate, with more yeast, beer and porridge, as well as this chalkiness. Some sides even remind me of 1990s Springbank, to tell you the truth. Also crushed herbs, rucola, mown lawn, perhaps even a touch of gorgonzola cream… With water: wool and mud, grist and pot ale, porridge and lamp oil, pencil eraser. Ah, the countryside… Mouth (neat): ah very good indeed, and indeed I swear it’s a little reminiscent of early-season Springbank. Porridge, must, clay, pepper, dairy cream, concrete, a little coal tar, yuzu, very fresh baguette (when the latter is still alive), paraffin… With water: impeccable, a little fruitier and easier, with quite some quinces and little green pears. Quince jelly over your half-baguette. Finish: rather long, rather chalkier and breadier again. Dry aftertaste, on, well, dry ale. Comments: quiero mucho this one, it’s got an all-natural side that will always remind you that this is well barley whisky.
SGP:462 - 88 points.

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