Back then, after our last scottish night spent in Sterling, we were moving towards Glasgow quite happy because we had the time for another stop at our beloved Glengoyne distillery, right before flying back to Italy. But right after breakfast, here came a sign that was a lightning, a folgoration for our hearts: “Deanston Distillery, 10 minutes”: wait, are you really going to miss that, even if it was just for the time of a welcome dram? No way!, and judging from the picture here on the left, we must have had more than just one welcome dram… Anyway, we get back to Deanston (which may seem not the most eye-catching distillery, but it has its reasons of fascination, and inside it’s just beautiful – Ken Loach used is a set for his Angel’s Share movie, you know) tasting the entry-level expression of their core range: 12 years old.
N: we remembered a gentle, docile, fruity malt, but there is something else too… Let’s go in order: there’s honey, there’s dried fruit, there’s candied fruit – everything quite gentle, indeed. After a while you get some lovely and deep mineral notes, almost ‘dirty’, with a clear malt: it reminds us of porridge, mash tuns, yeast. It may seem younger than it is, but maybe this brazen and mottled maltiness is the signature style of Deanston’s art of distillation. Citrus (orange or lemon?), and a nice note of cigar tobacco. Apricots, maybe?
P: it keeps surprising: we weren’t expecting this solid intensity of flavors, and we must admit that it’s not so common to have a shy nose and a loud palate. Here it happens: sweet honeyed bonbons, dried apricots fill the mouth with harmony. There’s some gentle dried fruit (almonds), chamomile flowers and sugar; and also a malty mineralty that we frankly love. Some light pepper. Mou candies (toffee).
F: characterful and long, on honey, dried apricots, chocolate.
The nose was interesting but maybe not the most sexy ever found, but it finds redemption in a sumptuous and peculiar palate, with a great finish. As an entry-level, we find it excellent: maybe a drinking whisky more than a nosing one? Maybe yes, but in the end, who cares: 84/100.
Recommended soundtrack: James Blake – Retrograde.