Nose: Dry fruits, sultanas, plum pudding, honey, toffee, and dark chocolate.
Taste: Bread pudding, sultanas, baking spices, dark toffee, dark chocolate, and dates.
Technology can bring us to any destination – literally. Point. Click. There you are. No packing or waiting at the carousel for your suitcase to show up. And e-travelling in your sweats or shorts makes it awfully comfortable. Still though, it’s not quite the same thing as being there. For example: click on Stirling, Scotland.
Looks pretty awesome doesn’t it? Still though, it’s not quite like being there in real 3D and not virtual 3D. Being at the city gates in person and that’s when it’ll really hit you: You’re standing where the Lowlands end and right in front of is the gateway to the Highlands. Bam!
Ok, now let’s head up the internet highway and click on eight miles out of town to the Deanston Distillery cozily situated on the River Teith. While the actual distillery itself is relatively not young, being founded in 1965, the actual name was invented in 1500. That’s when Walter Drummond, the Dean of Dunblane inherited some land that would eventually see the distillery. He put “Dean” together with “toun” and bingo, Deanston was verbally created.
Chances are, you (should and/or must) have a bottle of Deanston’s Virgin Oak in your bar. (A tasty value-for-money “go to” single malt.) Today’s travels take us past one of their core expressions to one of their limited releases: the 16-year-old Organic Oloroso Cask Finish. It’s part of a range that includes other finished expressions like Palo Cortado, Brandy, Marsala and Bordeaux Red Wine.
All of Deanston’s whiskies are made with water directed from the River Teith. The granite over which the water flows makes it H2Oh-so soft. Also, said whiskies are non-chill filtered and have no added colour. So, the Oloroso Cask Finish sits with a warm and natural tawny hue in my glass.
With this Deanston bottled at just below “cask strength”, the notes have no problem making their way to my nose, thanks to the 50.6% abv. Despite that, the arrival isn’t hot and loud. It’s rich, bountiful and luscious. Dry fruits, sultanas and dates pair beautifully with dark chocolate and dark honeys. The memories of plum pudding also come wafting by. This whisky really is getting figgy with it. After letting it sit and relax for a while in the glass, another nosing introduces sweet English toffee. Sipping the Deanston, again the abv doesn’t overpower or get in the way. Bread pudding, sultanas and dates come in and linger. Another sip has the dark chocolate and toffee. Baking spices make it lively and tingly but in a reserved kind of way. More like “How do you do?” instead of “Hey, how the heck are ya?” The flavours linger and fade away slowly which is a good and delicious thing. These guests you don’t want to leave your oral abode anytime soon.
The 16-year old Oloroso Cask Finish Deanston is not in the same price range as the Virgin Oak so you must be comfortable with spending more. Only you can determine if you feel there’s value in a $200 whisky versus a $50 one. Of course, the very next best thing to having a bottle is having a friend who has one. Cheers.