Taste: Cadenhead’s Deanston 18 Year Old

I always enjoy a visit to the Deanston distillery, not only is the food excellent but the whisky is starting to be appreciated by many more visitors. Throw in recent investment to the visitor facilities, a unique site history, a couple of distillery exclusive bottlings and you have a potent mix. I’ve visited the distillery on numerous occasions including most recently earlier this week. So it seemed an apt time to review this independent release from Cadenhead’s.

Deanston is traditionally a light whisky, initially used in blends until a single malt started appearing in the 1970’s. It’s development was hampered with a period of inactivity but since the passing of the millennium we’ve begun to see more interesting releases and cask finishes including the excellent Spanish Oak release. You don’t see an 18 year old Deanston these days without an additional finish in tow, so this will be interesting!

I’m always reminded whenever I tour Deanston that it is the cleanest distillery I’ve visited. This week production was in full effect and the tours have been very popular this year and show no sign of slowing down. First, the details of this release:

Distillery: Deanston
Age: 18 years
Distilled: 1994
Bottled: October 2012
Price: approx £50
Limited Edition of: 270 bottles
Strength: 57.3%
Cask: Oak 
Additional: Despite limited numbers this should be still available from Cadenhead’s outlets.

Now down to the tasting notes:
Colour: Trying hard to not say oak here so lets try beech instead.
Nose: Apples give way to orange, mint and cinnamon. Nice floral note but nothing too pronounced or memorable.
Mouth: Honey, almonds and liquorice.
Verdict: Now you must be thinking water is a must here? Not necessarily as this Deanston is surprisingly drinkable at 57.3% and sweet. A touch of water does unlock more characteristics and therefore a little further appreciation. 

This is a solid if unspectacular dram and instead I’d point you in the direction of the official releases that offer different finishes and are far more interesting. 

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