A Christmas Guide to Deanston

AD – In collaboration with Deanston // All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own. 

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of going on a press trip with Deanston Distillery – which you can read more about here – so lately I’ve been lucky to try a variety of the Deanston whiskies. One of my all time favourite whiskies – the cask strength Deanston Brandy Cask which was released years ago – is from Deanston and I’ve noticed that many of my whisky friends and followers tend to have a soft spot for the whiskies from this distillery in particular. There is such a variety of the Deanston whiskies that there is something for everyone. So I’m excited to have the opportunity to share this little Christmas Guide with you to highlight the different whiskies I’ve tried, my tasting notes and who I’d recommend it for. 

So if you are looking for a last minute Christmas gift for the whisky enthusiast in your life – look no further!

Deanston Virgin Oak 

46.3% / £34

Notes of citrus fruit, waxy oak and sweet barley

The Deanston Virgin Oak is a lovely additional on your whisky shelves, no matter if you’re a whisky enthusiast or someone just beginning their whisky journey. The Virgin Oak influence highlights the American oak notes of vanilla and spice which brings more warmth to the dram. 

I’d recommend this whisky to someone who might’ve not tried it before, who’s just starting out on their whisky journey or the whisky drinker who quite enjoys an oak forward whisky. 

Deanston Virgin Oak Cask Strength 2023 Edition

58.5% / £60

The cask strength Virgin Oak is a more robust version of its cousin mentioned above and for me the higher abv brings out more citrus notes. In spite if sitting at 58.5% it feels nicely balanced and smooth enough to enjoy without water. It does carry a few drops of water well however, and this brings out more savoury spice for me. 

I’d recommend this whisky for the more experienced whisky drinker who doesn’t mind a higher abv and can appreciate the difference in character that it brings. 

Deanston Winter Festival 2023 (2007 Burgundy Cask)

52.5% / £85

Notes of dried fruits, freshly baked pastries and pine

The Deanston Winter Festival is a limited release exclusive to the distillery and its website, released in celebration of the annual Winter Festival that takes place at the distillery. It has been finished in Burgundy wine casks, which brings a different fruitiness, reminiscent of red berries. 

I’d recommend this for someone who might be missing a limited release on their whisky shelves, or someone who quite enjoys a richer style of whisky. 

Deanston 15 Year Old Tequila Finish

52.5% / £95

Notes of baked apple, earthy spice and caramelised agave. 

This Deanston has been finished in casks that once held agave tequila from the Jaliscan highlands in Mexico. The casks bring a slight earthiness and agave note on the finish, but has an overall character of fruit and malt. 

I’d recommend this for the creative or experimental whisky drinker or perhaps the tequila drinker in your life who’s keen to try a scotch whisky. 

Deanston 15 Year Old 2002 Marsala Finish

55.2% / £95

Notes of candied fruit, honey and spices like ginger and cloves. 

This limited release has been finished in marsala – a fortified wine from Sicily – which gives the whisky sweeter notes like candied fruits, caramel and an almost tropical sweetness. 

I’d recommend this for those who have a sweet-tooth or those who enjoy a sweet or dessert wine. 

Deanston 21 Year Old 2000 Organic

50.9% / £175

This whisky was made using organic malt and has been matured in organic ex-bourbon cakes before being finished in organic ex-fino sherry casks. 

This is a real treat of a dram with rich notes of pain aux raisin, cacao, christmas cake and waxy orange peel. Unfortunately this is also a limited release, and might be tricky to get hold of at the moment, however do keep an eye out as this bottling is part of a limited annual release, so we will have to wait and see what is released for 2024. 

I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys a richer style of whisky or as a special occasion gift. 

✦ Want to read more about whisky happenings?

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Check out my Instagram @swedishwhiskygirl or @scandinavianabroad to see even more photos and follow along on future adventures.

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