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.
@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.
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).