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Deanston Virgin Oak

X-tra Virgin - "Budget Blind Tasting" Part II

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@cricklewoodReview by @cricklewood

1st Apr 2018


Deanston Virgin Oak
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

As mentioned in part I, all these whiskys were evaluated blind during my last club meeting.

This is from a recent batch with the new livery and bottle shape. Deanston has been receiving a lot more attention of late. I believe that much like Bunnahabhain a few years ago owners Burns Stewart injected a good amount of capital in their operations. In order to implement a better cask management policy as well as diverting better quality casks to their OB’s rather than selling off a big proportion to brokers.

This release is aged in ex-bourbon casks and then finished in virgin oak. Sadly little info exists about age and length of maturation.

Nose: Starts of with a bit of pineapple, creamy yogurt & pears. There's a sweet transition to Starburst candy & vanilla, rising pastries or bread dough. It's pleasant and almost bourbon like until it moves towards a slightly green profile, almost like angelica or rhubarb.

Palate: Sweet and slightly fizzy/nippy bite of alcohol, brown sugar, sultanas and loads of milk chocolate/cafe latte. There's a smidge of tropical fruits, in the vein of rhum or Pina colada sitting in a base of sweetened porridge.

Finish: malty, sweet and oaky a bit of a burn and that lingering milk chocolate.

I took a shine to this whisky, it's easygoing but has enough little twists to make it interesting, delivered at a proper abv too. In our little group this performed on par with a Benriach 15 which was the one "non-budget" whisky inserted in the group.

Related Deanston reviews


BlueNote commented

@cricklewood I'm sure the Deanston is a lot cheaper than the Benriach 15. If it is on a par with the Benriach I will be on the lookout for a bottle. I see it gets good marks from several other very reliable reviewers. Very useful review. Thanks.

6 years ago 0

Webb commented

My friend gave me a bottle of Deanston VO. My first impression is that it's half bourbon half scotch, very little virgin oak influences. At first I almost said "it's a fake scotch, should be called bourbon instead" but on second sipping it developed more towards scotch. The only other "virgin oak" that I tried (and really enjoyed) are Glenmorangie Ealanta and Kavalan Podium. These are the real scotch (even though Kavalan is from Taiwan).

6 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

@cricklewood, I enjoy this one on its own and in blends as well. It tends to get better with air and holds up well in an open bottle. The new oak shines through for me adding complexity to this NAS, NFC, natural colour single malt.

I would guess 2 - 4 months in new oak. My question would be the level of (Barrel char) toast employed.

Nice review, thanks.

6 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge Isn't this a key component in your Legacy blending exercise?

6 years ago 0

cricklewood commented

@BlueNote of the three budget bottles purchased, this one fared the best against the Benriach (it was a 15 px finish btw) and for some people was their favourite. I've had fun with this blind tasting exercise and will definitely try this again.

@webb ifs definitely a curious whisky at first especially on the nose. Of those you mention I've only tried the Kavalan Podium and found that one even stranger but pleasing. I think Podium vats virgin oak and refill wine casks.

@paddockjudge, I remember you mentioned that you used this in some of your blends. I could imagine it being very useful for that. I ended up buying a bottle with my brother for when we're just kicking around cooking supper. I look forward to see how it develops... Unless it meets the dreaded evapouration

6 years ago 0

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