Did you know Deanston is the only distillery in Scotland that is self-sustaining for electricity, thanks to a dam and a turbine? Since being acquired a couple of years ago by South African giant Distell they’ve worked hard on making the distillery future-proof and make the whisky more attractive (upping the ABV for instance).
Ignoring Deanston Virgin Oak for now, Deanston 12 Years is the entry-level dram in their core range, alongside the 18 Years and a couple of limited expressions. Its packaging has been redesigned at the end of 2016, nicely done.
Deanston 12 yo
(46,3%, OB +/- 2017)
Nose: fairly bright, with cereals, biscuits, hay and heather honey. Citrus notes (orange peel), a little vanilla. Faint earthy / gingery touches too.
Mouth: sweet pear, lemon and plenty of creamy vanilla. Modern bourbon ageing, but moving to drier notes. Almonds and chocolate. Even a few salty notes before returning to sweet barley and hints of spicy honey.
Finish: medium long, with sweet oak and pepper.
Simply a good entry-level whisky which has more to say than just vanilla and grains. That said, nothing makes it really stand out (the downside of plain ex-bourbon, I guess). I only seem to find the new version in the UK: Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange.