Archive for the ‘Deanston’ Category

Douglas Laing Old Particular Deanston 1994 (20 year old) 51.5%

Code: OLD0134/ Dist: Jun 1994 Btl: Sept 2014/ Tasted: Oct 2014

A subtle and oily nose. Quite robust, mature and herbal with a touch of vanilla oak. Hmm. Where is the hard as nails barley and cardbordy/ industrial character? Well, not here that for certain, this must be a first for Deanston! What there is instead is a pleasant crisp and granity character. 

The palate is a little industrial and oily with some hard barley being softened by the honey. Full and gently spiced with some toffee’d oak. A pleasant sweetness on the middle leads into an austere, granity finish. By Deanston’s standards this is very drinkable.


Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Deanston 1996? (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2370/ Tasted: May 2014

A very typically industrial nose. Lightly cardboardy with hints of black pepper, burnt caramel, oak and a light rubbery notes. Classic Deanston!

The palate is oily with burnt caramel, pepper and toffee. Again industrial with hints of white liquorice, chicory and coffee/chocolate. Sharp citrus and lightly bitter finish with the burnt caramel notes lingering.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Deanston 1995 (21 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2605/ Dist: Aug 1995 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Dec 2016

OMG! Is this really Deanston? It has a surprisingly aromatic nose, which is something I thought I’d never say about this distillery! Barley’d and fruity with apricot, lime, gooseberry, dusty American oak and subtle spices. Extremely clean with a touch of vanilla.

The palate opens with some subtly toffee’d oak and pleasantly mature, dusty oak. A touch of apricot follows but the clean and mature oak is the focal point. Lightly coffee’d and spicy on the middle with a long, juicy, succulent, sweet spice finish and oaky after-taste. OMG! A bottling of Deanston that I’d happily sell, whatever next!

Dewar Rattray Deanston 1995 (13 year old) 60.8%

Refill Sherry Butt – Cask 1952/ Dist: 1995 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: Nov 2008

A slightly astringent, spirity start with a touch of peat and orange blossom. There’s a big seam of coffee and a musty/grubby note but loads of malt and a touch of leafy sherry. The palate is oily and a touch dumb with orange-ish fruit, intense alcohol and a sherried leafiness in the background.

Water becalms the nose and emphasises the sherry cask. The palate becomes sugary-sweet, and I’m afraid that I find it all a bit charmless and unrefined in that Dufftown kind of way. I guess you either love or hate it.

Deanston 12 year old 46.3%

Tasted: Nov 2010

The nose is as hard as nails with some floral acetone and hints of fruit and malt, but over time it becomes very farmyardy! The palate is hard and bitter. Industrial, alcoholic and lacking in malt, but not bitter oak. In fact it tastes like a cheap blend and is as rough as a badger’s doobry!

With water the nose is only slightly feinty but some hard honey and wood spice has now appeared. On the palate it has become sweeter with some cereal and honey, less industrial but the finish is eye wateringly bitter. One to be endured not enjoyed!

Deanston 12 year old 46.3%

Re-Tasted: Aug 2012

A light, slightly fruity nose with just a suggestion of wet cardboard. Quite an alcohol prickle with hints of youthful cereal and coffee. With time the cardboard note becomes more evident.

The palate is full and malty but still quite industrial. There is some sweet, but grubby sherry notes along with a touch of dried fruit. Piquant alcohol gives way to cardboard and coffee. I think the nose has improved a little but the palate is still really hard going.

Deanston 12 year old 46.3%

Re-Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: A little hard and industrial with some murky spices, dried fruit and toffee.

Palate: Soft and carameled with toffee and more toffee. Hints of coconut and granulated sugar come through.

Finish: Good length with a spicy, coconut finish, but still industrial though.

Conclusion: Too heavy on the oak on the palate, which does however blanket the industrial character!

Deanston Toasted Oak 46.3%

Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: Slightly dusty sherry with walnuts, prune, sharp stem ginger and citrus. Reasonably clean and obviously first fill.

Palate: Opens with the soft prune, date and walnuts with a touch of brown sugar. A little metallic and astringent on the middle as some sharp citrus notes come through.

Finish: Mouth-watering and spicy with plenty of burnt raisin and lingering metallic green fruit.

Conclusion: Relatively clean but still hard work!

Deanston Virgin Oak 46.3%

Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: Slightly soapy apricot and dusty barley with honey, green fruit, citrus and oak. With time it becomes pleasantly herbal.

Palate: Full and creamy with plenty of toffee. Lightly herbal with hints of barley. Freshens towards the middle as some stony/ grainy notes appear.

Finish: Good Length with lingering oak, herbal and mineral notes.

Conclusion: A pleasant highland malty with plenty of granity character.