After a bit of a hiatus from writing about whisky, I thought it was apropos that my first post for my return to writing be about one of the hand-filled bottles from one of my favorite distilleries I visited on my first strip to Scotland last summer. As some jokingly call me the “unofficial Deanston Brand Ambassador of NYC” it should come as no surprise that this hand-fill came from Warehouse No, 4 during my tour at Deanston.
I got to try three drams straight from the cask using a valinch to pull the dram and fill my glass, and my favorite of the bunch was this organic dram. Distilled in 2002 and matured in new white American oak casks. (Bourbon casks couldn’t be used for the maturation as most bourbon is not truly organic.) However, Pedro Ximenez sherry is organic, which meant after 12 years maturing in the new American oak casks the whisky could be finished in a PX cask. At 49.6% ABV at the time of bottling and spending 1/4 of its life in PX casks this dram is a stunner. I wish I could’ve brought home more than a 20cl of this!
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask Type: 12 Years in new American Oak, 4 years in Pedro Ximenez
Age: ~16 years
Chill Filtered: No
Color Added: No
Glass for Review: Deanston Tulip Glass
Nose: Cinnamon brown sugar butter that’s beginning to melt in a ban. Melted M&M candies and caramel are intertwined with treacle and toffee. Beneath the sweet layers are notes of biscuits, malt, and damp newspapers. The aromas are well layered and balanced.
Palate: Fresh american oak coming in hot, packing a punch of oak spice and sandalwood. The spice tickles the palate, slowly giving way to maple syrup and Biscoff cookies. Treacle and toffee are less apparent than the nose.
Finish: Biscoff cookies and biscuits. Dates and raisins are light on the breath with wasps of feint oak lingering on. As the finish progresses light oak transitions into Belgian waffles (without the dusting of cinnamon sugar).
Overall: This is a really fun dram to unpack. The nose is incredible; it’s extremely well refined and layered yet that Deanston house style is clearly there as you peel back the layers. Much can be missed with this dram if you don’t sit with it and dissect every element as it’s also an easy drinking dram.