Deanston 12 Year Single Malt Scotch
Deanston is a relatively young distillery, founded in 1965. After a couple of changes of ownership the distillery was closed down in 1982, and was then rescued in 1990 by Burn Stewart, who also own Tobermory and Bunnahabhain distilleries, and who is now owned by South African drinks company Distell. The distillery is located in the Scottish Highlands, around an hour's drive north-west of Edinburgh on the banks of the River Teith.
The vast majority of Deanston's 3,000,000 litre annual production capacity goes into blends, and only around 15% of the distillery's output is bottled as single malt. Those single malt whiskies are naturally presented without chill filtration or added colouring, are bottled at 46.3% and above, are traditionally made without any computer assistance or automation, and all are made from Scottish-grown barley (albeit sourced from commercial maltings). Deanston were also among the first of the Scottish distilleries to produce a certified organic whisky, a complicated and expensive process.
The 12 year is matured in ex-bourbon casks, and bottled at 46.3% without chill filtration or added colouring - like the label says, "as it should be". The nose is classic: honey, apples, orange marmalade, white wine, tropical fruits, barley, and creamy vanilla. The palate is creamy, oily, and full. Flavors of honey, vanilla, nuts, and more orange marmalade mingle with a hint of oak spice, but not much. The finish is somewhat brief, but lovely, with more apples and caramel.