Deanston 14 Year Spanish Oak

Scotch Review #117: Deanston 14 Year Spanish Oak

Distillery: Deanston

Region: Highland

ABV: 57.9%, Cask Strength

Age: 14 Year

Cask Type: Spanish Oak (Reportedly ex-Lepanto brandy)

Price: £5 for a 30 mL sample (I think)

Color: 0.7, Amber. Non-Chill Filtered and Natural Color.

Nose (according to the wife): There’s so much alcohol that it’s unbearable. There’s a little bit of pear but it’s not pleasant at all.

Palate: Absolutely needs to be cut, it is far too strong and hot otherwise. After a copious amount of water, a lot of wild honey and wild flowers come out that are nice along with a very unusual note of olive oil.

Finish: Incredibly short (somehow). There’s a hint of cream here but even after watering down, it is far too hot to discern anything else.

Conclusion: I picked up a sample of this Deanston distillery exclusive after visiting earlier this year. On the surface, it sounds like it would be a wonderful dram. Cask strength in ex-Brandy casks? Could be great. However, as much as I want to like this dram, it really is hard to. It’s so strong and hot that despite diluting it quite a bit, the heat never really dissipates making for an unpleasant drink. The wild honey, wild flowers, and olive oil are nice but it’s not enough. Would I buy a bottle? No.

Score: 68.

Scotch Whisky review #117, Highland Whisky Review #30, Whisky Network Review #156

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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