The Scotch Whisky Association recently relaxed the list of allowed casks for whisky finishing. This has led to a couple of mezcal finishes, and now also tequila casks. This one is the third that I know of, after a Chivas Extra 13 and a Kilchoman Tequila finish.
Deanston 15 Years Tequila Cask comes from hand-selected casks that once held tequila from the Jaliscan Highlands in Mexico.
I’m not sure tequila casks make sense, to be honest. To me they’re in the corner of the vodkas, the eau-de-vies and Schnapps. Sure, fine examples exist of these spirits – I’m just not sure their casks would add a lot of interesting aromas to an already mature whisky.
Deanston 15 yo – Tequila Cask finish (52,5%, OB 2023)
Nose: the grainy Deanston core comes out first, albeit with a clear grassy and leafy side. Then green apple, rhubarb and tinned pineapple appear. Light ginger and a subtle earthy note (from the spirit or the cask?). In the background there’s a faint herbal note – I’m thinking aloe vera but maybe that’s just my imagination. Overall quite “centered” which is not a major asset in my book.
Mouth: melons, apples, with lemon peels and grapefruit. There’s a more prominent hint of agave now, although it also brings along the tangy, boozy side of tequila. White pepper and ginger, as well as some vanilla and wood. Hints of ground almonds and cardamom as well.
Finish: medium, still fairly neutral, on citrus notes, nuts and peppery oak.
Granted, the tequila influence is well dosed and doesn’t take over in any way. Yet I find the added aromas and flavours slightly odd, rather than highly attractive. The whisky comes accross as slightly boozy as well. Maybe tequila casks were a little unnecessary after all? Available from The Whisky Exchange and Tyndrum Whisky for instance. Check Whiskysite.nl if you fancy a sample.