Deanston is a distillery that doesn’t see much play. At least, on the bigger international blogs it pops up every now and then, but in my neck of the woods you have to put it some effort to find anything except for the 10 year old and the fairly new Virgin Oak.
Some say it’s a pretty generic whisky with a lot of bourbon cask influences, mostly outing themselves in the way of massive vanilla flavours. While I can’t really deny the vanilla punch, it doesn’t mean that we should overlook the distillery. I remember a Master of Malt bottling that was pretty kick-ass, for example.
This one came from a sample sent to me by the guys at Whiskybase. Apparently they toss in a couple samples with a lot of orders. I didn’t know that but it does make me more inclined to check their website for future purchases.
This whisky was matured in a Hogshead for 15 years before being bottled under the Archives label, for Whiskybase themselves.
Very malty at first, with the expected vanilla, but it’s not as massive as in other bottlings. Quite some oak too, especially for a 15 year old. Because of the wood influence it’s nice and spicy, with a bit of a chalky scent to it as well. Salmiak (ammonium chloride) and licorice too.
Sweet, spicy and quite big on the alcohol. It’s a bit overpowering. The wood spices are back with nutmeg in pole position. There is a tinge of fruit, but I can’t quite wrap my tongue around it.
The fruity bit is getting a bit more play. Yellow orchard fruits like apples and pears. Maybe a little bit of pineapple too. Not too long.
I like this. A lot. There are a lot of flavours mingling together which makes this a very interesting dram.
It might do with a bit of water, but I generally don’t since I generally don’t. As in, if I would have added water to this one, I would have changed a parameter while assessing this whisky that I normally don’t change. It wouldn’t be fair. Maybe I should start adding water on a more general basis. Not adding water reveals the only flaw I can think of and that’s the alcohol focus on the palate.
Apart from that, the spices, oak and fruits are a terrific mix and it makes me want a bottle. Fairly cheap too, at € 55.
Deanston 1997, 55.8%, Archives for Whiskybase, Fishes of Samoa series. € 55 at Whiskybase
Sample provided by Whiskybase. Thanks a million!