Everytime when a whisky matured, or in this case finished, in a Fino Sherry cask pops up, my interest peaks. Apart from actually liking Fino Sherry, I find it imparts great flavors on whiskies through the reuse of the oak.
It’s more dry and spicy than most other Sherry casks, and sometimes even brings a little bitter note.
On the other hand, Deanston is not a distillery I enormously enjoy. I often find their whiskies a little bland, or so heavily cask influenced that the pendulum swing the other way entirely. But, if this was a nice bourbon cask before it was transferred into the Fino cask, it should be good. I was game for a sample.
A slight salty dryness with grape must. Quite some oak, a grape seed bitter note too. Very drifferent from the more common fruity sherry casks. Some baking spices and sawdust.
The palate brings more spiciness, the baking spices and the sawdust. Some bitter fruits, with plum stones, almonds, date stones. Again, it’s very dry.
The finish is very similar to the palate. Some fruit, lots of spices, a bit of bitterness. Very dry and that touch of salinity from the nose makes a reappearance too.
In this case, I think it’s very nice that Deanston isn’t too flavorful by itself. Generally I want the spirit to shine through as well as the cask, but the Fino does the job very well on its own. I love the dryness, even though most spices and fruits stay a little nondescript. A very drinkable and good Deanston.