Last year I was invited to visit the Deanston distillery and get a tour around the facilities. It have a fantastic day and did nothing to stop my affliction on buying bottles of their whisky. The first dram of their range I ever tried was at a festival and it was this 18 year old we are reviewing today that started it all off for me.
To read about my visit you can check it out at Deanston Distillery Visit
The 18 year old expression is like all the Burns Stewart distilleries released with craft presentation of natural colour and no filtering. I particularly like the label which says “UN-CHILL FILTERED (exactly like it should be)” informal but fun marketing in my opinion works really well. The bottling strength is 46.3% and perhaps that extra .3% is vital to the overall effect but more likely just for marketing the craft angle that little bit harder. The label is also helpful in telling us there has been a first-fill finishing using ex-bourbon barrels. This will have been done to add a bit of vibrancy into the refill casks the whisky spent most of its life.
With whiskies aged closer to two decades old the prices are really being pushed as hard as the market will take it just now. This, however, is one of the cheaper options in the bracket at around £75 in the UK.
Colour – copper
Nose – Vibrant and fruity with honey, vanilla, nutmeg and pepper. The honey isn’t sweet but more heathery. There is a little tobacco and a sweet estery element mixed in there as well.
Palate – The texture is lovely and creamy with flavours in two halves. The arrival is spices in more nutmeg, pepper and cinnamon with the second half bringing in green herbs of some mint and roots in the form of buckets and buckets of ginger.
Finish – The finish starts to fall away quite quickly but then lingers as a background note for a long while. The overall impact is slightly bitter in wood tannins with a balance of sweet boiled sweets, sweeter honey and vanilla ice-cream.
I have been looking for a whisky like this for a while. I have been needing a bourbon matured whisky which was full of sweet viscous flavour which really took you by the scruff of the neck. That is exactly what this does and since this is my final thought section here it is :
GET IT BOUGHT!