Deanston is owned by Burn Stewart distillers which in turn is owned by South African company, Distell. Distill’s home brands include it’s ‘Three Ships’ single malt and ‘Bains’ grain. Back in Scotland, [Distell’s] Burn Stewart’s leading blended Scotch is Black Bottle & Scottish Leader whilst Scottish distilleries in their portfolio include Bunnahabhain and Tobermory. Deanston of late has had some serious re-investment including the opening of a visitors centre in 2012. Furthermore their core range currently  consists of singe malts and vintages, bottled non-chill filtered at 46.3% with age statements - so on paper they are showing serious intent. Whilst the NAS WB showed more the distillate, let’s see what decent maturation can do to the spirit. This 18yo has seen 16 years in bourbon before being finished [or re-racked] for 2 years in oloroso.
N: Mushroomy malt [from the cask surely], leathery too with smelly socks accompanying - but that'll subside as the whisky opens up.
T: Theres a touch of jam [from the oloroso I would have thought], and that finish has proved valuable. Underlying and representing those first 16 years however is that bourbon-oak-fungal which is rather fine.
F: Bring on head nodding and some ‘dad noises’. Nutty, malty tannins permeate the palate for a long finish with that fungal oak there to the last.
C: Meant to go back and try it again later in the day. Will visit this a bit later on in the year. On first impressions I think this is fab.
Scores a B
A revisit came sooner than i thought, just two weeks later.
N: Consolidated nose [Glengoyne like]. The sherry no doubt has had a significant influence in tying it all together.
T: Lots of sherry at first but its the 16 years of bourbon that make all the headlines.
F: Yet, ‘stop press’ - the finish is worth a line or two also. Bubblegum [from the bourbon no doubt] into creamy cream moving to white chocolate caramac.
C: Whatever we thought of past bottlings in the late 1900’s [doesn’t that sound archaic?], in 2016 Deanston is darn decent.
Scores a B[-]