For September, we are going up to the highlands to try a relatively new whisky – Deanston 12yo. Deanston Distillery was originally built as cotton mill in 1785. The building was converted into a whisky distillery in 1966 and fell silent again only 16 years later. Burn Stewart & Co bought the mothballed distillery and finished recommissioning in 1990. Now 22 years on Deanston is still going strong providing the malt back bone of some famous blends including Scottish Leader and Black Bottle Scotch.
The philosophy of Deanston 12yo is pretty straightforward: Keep it Simple.
There are no flavours or colours added. It is not chill filtered. It is bottled at 46.3% to keep the rich flavour organics in solution (if you bottle at less than 46% unfiltered, the whisky can go cloudy in the bottle, called ‘floculation’).
At Deanston they only use American oak. Usually American oak has previously aged bourbon but to make it really interesting Deanston finish each whisky in “new” oak. That is oak that has not aged any other spirit. You get very rapid exchange of flavours with new oak, so a short period to finish the whisky is all that is needed to lift the intensity significantly.
More than three quarters of Deanston is exported to the USA, however in recent years this has declined allowing it be available to other markets including Australia.