The Deanston distillery is located just outside the town of Sterling and sits on the banks of the river Teith and on the outskirts of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, owned by the Distell group the distillery was founded back in 1965 and is located within a re furnished weavers / cotton mill believed to have been in operation since 1785 and was running for some 180 years before becoming a distillery.
Designed to run on water power the mill had its very own river /canal cut from the river Teith to the building in order to supply the water to run the impressive 4 water wheels (two smaller wheels in the design of the original Adelphi wheels, one larger one named Samson and the fourth named Hercules that was some 36 feet in diameter and was capable of producing some 300 hp.)
Hercules was located within a rather impressive building but unfortunately today the wheel is no longer in place, although the water still plays a major role in running the on site hydro electric facility.. One other factor worth mentioning, when the water cut was dug ( by hand ! ) it only dropped by 1 inch from start to end which you have to admit is rather impressive !!
The site also boasts one of the most incredible warehouses in the industry as the roofs were designed in order to stop any condensation dripping onto the materials and workers while the weaving was in operation, the cupola roof made from cast iron was insulated with soil in order to keep the temperature up around 80 degrees Fahrenheit or around 26.5 c, and to also help dampen down any noise from the machinery.
With 2 wash stills and 2 spirit stills in operation Deanston has a capacity of producing around 3 million litres of alcohol per year with the majority of this going into blends such as Scottish Leader which is believed to have been created back in the 1800’s by the Ross brothers..
Deanston 12 year old Fino Finish
Age.. 12 years
Casks.. 9.5 years in Ex bourbon / Finished in Fino Sherry casks
Outturn.. 268 Bottles
Nose.. First impressions are dried fruits in the form of Dates, sultanas and dried apricot with a little plum and honey, freshly sliced oranges, ginger cake and cinnamon balance things out.
Palate.. Citrus peel bitterness is the first thing to greet the palate with a little ginger prickle then a barrage of dried fruits and sweet honey, toffee notes start to develop..A hint of coffee beans and chocolate with a touch of digestive biscuits and exotic fruits are found towards the latter end.
Finish.. Drying and sweet
Thoughts.. Deanston distillery has of late been releasing some exceptional malts and this is once again no exception. Found within this expression is a multitude of flavours and aromas that not only entice you to dive in they also put a smile on the face and isn’t that what really counts ?
I was lucky enough to spend some time at the distillery with Stephen Woodcock who not only gave us a total run down on the history, process and the deanston liquid he also instilled an understanding and development to the appreciation we had for the whisky itself, this then gives you more knowledge to what you are drinking and a more in depth reasoning to a positive enjoyment.
Deanston is producing some stunning whiskies so my advice is go out and locate some if you have not already had the pleasure to try it.. You will not be dissapointed !!
Sample kindly provided by Distell