Expression: 2008 Bordeaux Red Wine Cask Matured
Age Statement: 9 years old
Vol: 58,7% abv
Extra info: Bordeaux cask matured, 1 of 1400 bottles
Deanston is one of those distilleries from which I don’t very often taste anything. I’m not sure why; it’s quite easily available, it’s one of the most sustainable distilleries around (kudos) and more often than not the whisky they produce is really quite good. Maybe it has to do with the fact that this is one of the ‘new kids on the block’, as it doesn’t have that much history and charm as some traditional distilleries. Unfair, I know, but because of this it’s easy to overlook it. For me, anyways.
What we have here is an official bottling, but a one-off; this whisky was distilled in 2008 and bottled in 2017 after being aged in Bordeaux red wine casks. Bottled at cask strength, and, true to Deanston standards, non-chill filtered and without added colouring. I’m not always a fan of wine cask maturation, but let’s see where this stands.
Nose: It has that candy-like sweetness on the nose; winegums or jelly beans. The wine maturation is noticeable, with plenty of red fruits. Clearly high strength, as this goes straight to the brain at the first sniff. With some water added it mellows out a bit and vanilla makes an entrance, together with some nice spices and oak, rhubarb and some cedar wood.
Taste: Hefty stuff, prickly on the tongue and gums, and drying too. Give it some time and the red fruits reappear, together with creamy vanilla, sharp spices and oak. A good bit of fire in this one, but not in a bad way.
Finish: Quite drying, whereas the mouthfeel was more creamy. More spice and dark red fruits like blackberry and blackcurrant. Vanilla and oak linger on in the end.
Overall: Very enjoyable. Wine maturation is often hit and miss for me, but this is definitely a hit. And, at around €50 a bottle, excellent value. Not exactly easy to drink, but really good if you treat it gently.
4 stars (86-90 range)