Deanston Virgin Oak (46.3%, OB, 2015)
- Highland single malt scotch whisky
- 46.3% ABV, £35 for 70cl
- Score: 81/100
What they say:
This beautiful malt is first matured in ex-bourbon casks, from a family run cooperage in Kentucky, giving the liquid a wonderful zesty character. It is then finished in new oak barrels, which add subtle spiced aromas to the whisky.
Heady virgin oak bursting with lemon zest and sweet barley sugar with delicious notes of apple and nutmeg.
A delightful sweetness evoking memories of candied fruits and vanilla toffee balanced with heather honey.
A satisfying light spice with a rewarding burst of honeyed malt and sweet oakiness.
What I say:
Another sample thanks to Tom at Toms Whisky Reviews, a little bit of a two-edged sword this one – as much as I love Deanston I have found that virgin-oak matured expressions really don’t appeal to me that much, with the possible exception of Bunnahabhain’s Darach Ur. Again this expression as the Darach Ur is presented sans age-statement.
Light sauternes gold (5/20) numerous medium droplet tears
Sharp, pine sap and needles, resinous, lightly citric, sweet honey, spicy, a little blunt and pungent, plenty of fresh pencil shavings, sawdust and al little cereal barley
Light new oak wood, pine sap, resin, spicy rich and sugary (sweet and spice combination), coconut and creamy vanilla
Short, caramel oak, cereal barley and vanilla cream
A little surprised by this one, my initial fears seemed confirmed on the nose with lots of fresh wood smell – think carpentry. However this was a little sweeter on the palate and some of that Deanston toffee and butterscotch starts to show through – taking this well away from that ascerbic and drying ‘green’ or fresh wood that I dislike. This has scored its way into 1st place for my virgin oak expressions – though I would still recommend any other Deanston expression over this one. Interesting as an educational or experimental dram, I don’t think I would like a whole bottle of this.