I like the solid entry-level Deanston 12 Years but other than that most expressions failed to impress me.
Deanston 20 yo 1999 (50,4%, Maltbarn 2019, bourbon cask, 139 btl.)
Nose: very youthful nose with orchard fruits. Apples, pears, light peach. Then some muesli and cereal grains. Lemon peel and mint. Some white wine character. Faint mineral notes too.
Mouth: sweet, with apples and grapefruits and a chalky layer underneath. Then more towards dough, grasses and citrus peel. A bit of ginger and pepper from the oak.
Finish: long, with the same green and zesty elements. A subtle bittersweet edge.
Fairly neutral, I would never have guessed this had 20 years of maturation. Not something that gets me excited but easy-drinking no-nonsense whisky. Around € 140.
Deanston 19 yo 1999 (53,1%, Asta Morris 2019, ex-bourbon cask, AM 130, 217 btl.)
Nose: similar profile, but this time it focuses more on the malty sweetness, porridge and hints of dough, with less of the fresh orchard fruits. Some candied notes in the background. A bit more honey and vanilla. Overall slightly more mature if you like, but still not a typical 20 year-old.
Mouth: well yes, a sister cask alright. Citrus fruits (especially lemons), green notes and little oak. Plenty of oatmeal, malty notes and digestive cookies. A bit of mint and gravelly chalk to give it more character. Fresh hay.
Finish: good, on sunflower oil, grasses and a pinch of pepper.
Feels rather natural but the malty core and green zesty notes don’t convince me. No complaints, just too common perhaps, there’s similar (younger) whisky for less. Around € 150. Still available from TWE.