You see them more often nowadays: whisky’s finished or matured on red wine casks from France. This Deanston from 2008 spent the whole 9 years on such a cask from Bordeaux and was bottled at cask strength in 2017.
The nose bursts with red fruit, caramel, sniffing tobacco and red candy. Some furniture polish and blood oranges, but cherries quickly take the lead, followed by rhubarb. Softly spiced on pepper, some nutmeg and vanilla. Surprisingly rich and complex for such a young beast and the wine does not dominate, which I find quite pleasant.
Kaboom! This is a kick to the teeth! The alcohol manifests itself prominently. Pretty piquant too. Pepper, chili, cloves, nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon. But then the explosion of fruit follows: citrus and mostly red fruit. Cherries, berries and the likes. Nicely sweet. The tannine of the cask counterfoots this, but the malt never turns oaky, nor winey. This is beautiful. And bottled at its peak, I’d say.
Only in the long finish do I get the first inkling of the drying effect, but it remains sweet enough to be pleasant throughout. It dies a spicy death.
Excellent marriage between the soft malt of Deanston and the wine cask. Top dram.