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Deanston was one of a flurry of distilleries rushed into existence during the boom of the late sixties. It has only recently been brought into public awareness thanks to some timely faith from owners Burn Stewart. Unlike many of the blending monsters of the 60s/70s boom,...
Deanston was one of a flurry of distilleries rushed into existence during the boom of the late sixties. It has only recently been brought into public awareness thanks to some timely faith from owners Burn Stewart. Unlike many of the blending monsters of the 60s/70s boom, Deanston actually has quite a distinctive character and is an often mouthwatering dram in its own right.
Founded: 1966 Stills: 2 Wash 2 Spirit Water Source: Teith River Capacity: 3 Million Litres Owners: Burn Stewart
1966-Present: A Quiet Individual
Deanston has been available as a single malt on and off since it was only three years old. Curiously there have been virtually no independent bottlings to speak of, all the distilleries produce has gone into blends like Scottish Leader and its own official expressions. The standard character is quite a full-bodied one, dramatic, in your face maltiness, often quite dry with pleasing floral notes over honey, cereal, spice, and occasional heathery aspects. Not all bottlings are winners but many show a lovely, clean, and fulsome highlands style that is excellent for anyone who likes to actually taste something when dramming. It is not the most complex of whiskies but does present a full set of well-concentrated flavours that set it apart from many more mundane and easy spirits.
The best bottlings are those from the 70s and early 80s that show a more Rieslingesque flintiness and mineral character. How much of the quality is down to bottle aging is difficult to say because Deanstons production process has remained largely unchanged. The most likely influence will be the changes to the fermentation regime that will have happened during the mid-late seventies. Stronger yeast varieties give quicker, more rigorous fermentations but result in less fruit character and complexity. Perhaps this goes some way to explaining why modern bottlings of Deanston are drier and more robust in nature.