REVIEW: DEANSTON 12 YEAR
In my attempt to clean and organize the hot mess of a whisky collection that is taking over our spare room, I thought it would be wise to not only find a neat and tidy spot for them, but to also open and drink them while doing so. Because that is what whisky is for. Not for collecting dust in a box on a shelf, or in this case on my spare room floor being knocked over by my clumsy dogs.
Last night, while deciding what to sip, I saw a brown speckled box peeking through the stacks of Unfiltered Magazine, begging to be rescued and consumed. I had forgotten about the lovely little bottle of Deanston 12 hiding inside, and knew instantly that was the night’s tipple. As I was sipping it, I was so pleased at how damn good it was so I knew I had to come here to tell you all about it, because it is a whisky that deserves to be in the glasses of many!
The first time I ever heard of Deanston was a few years ago from the movie The Angel’s Share, where there is a tour of the distillery in one of the many whisky filled scenes of the film. It also includes many other fantastic whiskies we all love and includes an appearance by the incredibly knowledgeable Charlie MacLean! Its quite a fun movie, and if you enjoy whisky and a good laugh, I’d give it a watch. At the time the distillery name didn’t ring much of a bell as I was just getting into whisky, but I’m glad I decided to look into what they are creating, because the 2 different whiskies I’ve tasted from them since have been really lovely.
Located near Doune in the Highlands not far from the River Teith, Deanston once was the location of a cotton mill back in the late 1780’s where they specialized in making curtains and lace. In 1965 it was converted over to a working whisky distillery as the cotton industry collapsed, and was operational until 1982. It then sat dormant for the next 9 years. Since their rebirth in 1991, Deanston has been cranking out some solid whiskies and have not disappointed me yet! The 12 year is un-chill filtered, with no added coloring, and bottled at 46.3% from ex-bourbon casks.
SRP: $61 (depending on location)
Nose: Wet hay, little pops of juicy fruit bubblegum and Chex cereal, with mild vanilla extract.
Palate: It is a pretty accurate translation on to the palate. It is very much Juicy Fruit bubble gum with an earthy, like wet moss, foundation. Think juicy fruit cereal, with a moss milk and honey drizzle. While that sounds maybe not so pleasing as an actual dish (watch, moss milk will become a thing now!) its lovely here. Its sweet but earthy and has good mouthfeel and texture. Its creamy but not heavy. Its a really beautiful balance of complimentary flavors, and I love that it is bottled at 46.3%. It has weight, not thin or lackluster, and the bourbon notes are robust and strong. I feel it stands out amongst most other 12 year expressions in this category.
Finish: malty, sits a bit sour on the middle of the tongue.
Overall: A very solid whisky that would be great for those looking to jump into whisky, and for those who have already plunged down the rabbit hole and are looking for a delicious dram for sipping. I really enjoyed drinking this last night, and plan on trying more from them. I have heard lovely things about their 14 year Organic Single Malt, and very much enjoyed the 10 Year PX Cask Finish that Scotch4Dummies sent me!
Do you have a favorite Deanston expression? I’d love to know about them!
Near Doune, Perthshire
FK16 6AG, Scotland
The fine print: All views and photos are my own. This bottle was purchased by me.