Distillery Bottlings

Posted 10 July 2018

My liver doesn’t thank me for it, but running both a whisky club and being an enthusiast writer means that I get to drink rather lot of whisky nowadays. Always a pleasure, sometimes a bit of a grind – but there’s one experience I never seem to tire from and that’s visiting distilleries. I’m recently returned from the annual Dramboree gathering up at Loch Lomond, and my fondness for wandering round what are essentially industrial plants is still unwavering – and I have Deanston distillery and owners Distell to thank for this.

Posted 27 September 2018

Back in August, Distill announced six new limited release whiskies drawn from across their portfolio of Bunnahabhain, Deanston and Tobermory distilleries. Launched at what the company suggest was their first annual whisky showcase – ‘The Malt Gallery’ – the expressions are now starting to see the light of day. The Dramble attended a masterclass tasting at Deanston distillery tasting earlier in the summer where these upcoming releases were presented for the first time – as such, as the new bottlings appear on the shelves, we’ll be bringing you our tasting notes at a (roughly) similar time.

Posted 29 June 2019

The youngest of the three Deanston Limited Releases and a first ever bottling of a fino sherry matured whisky for the distillery. The expression was matured in ex-bourbon casks for nine and a half years and then re-racked into fino for a two and a half year finishing period. Bottled at 55% ABV and with an RRP of £65, sadly, this expression is not due to be released in either the US of Canada.

Posted 11 June 2019

Up until the mid-19th Century all whiskies were effectively organic. The development of the artificial manure industry (treating manure with phosphates and sulfuric acid to aid growth and yield) which stemmed from the pioneering work conducted by agricultural scientist John Bennet Lawes paved the way for fetilisers becoming an integral part of the global food chain. Grain is one of the most genetically modified foods – GM strains were first introduced in 1875 by hybridising wheat with rye, but have subsequently become commonly manipulated through biotechnological genetic modifications which raise resistances to pests, diseases and the extensive chemical treatments involved in modern farming techniques. By 2014, 93% of all corn planted in the US was from genetically modified varieties.

Posted 29 June 2019

The Deanston 2002 Organic Oloroso Finish is produced from organic barley (locally sourced from farmers) and initially matured in rejuvenated ex-bourbon casks (decharred and recharred to remove all organic precursor liquids). It is then transferred to organic oloroso casks from Bodegas Robles who are located in the Montilla-Moriles of Spain. Whilst far from the only winery in Spain to have gone fully organic over the last decade, Bodegas Robles are the first Spanish winery to accurately calculate their carbon footprint and to commit to reducing it each and every year.

Posted 16 November 2018

“It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute” the saying goes. Similarly in whisky, building the visibility, awareness and reputation of a distillery doesn’t happen overnight. There’s a raft of distilleries I would classify as presently underappreciated – Deanston is one of them. Though owners Distell have clearly heavily invested in the distilleries across their portfolio, Deanston still feels a little like the neglected younger brother.

Posted 29 June 2019

Palo Cortado is a hybrid sherry – in effect a halfway house between amontillado and oloroso, possessing the nutty nose of the former with the rich body of the latter. Traditionally, it would have been created through happenstance – with a biologically aged sherry losing its layer of protective flor and then continuing its development oxidatively. If you believe the spiel from the bodegas, the reasons for this transformation are shrouded in mystery – some barrels simply transition naturally into Palo Cortado – and no one truly understands why. 



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