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.
Nose: Dry nutty sherry with walnuts and cashews alongside jammy raspberries and fresh strawberries. Running throughout is a strong vein of dried fruits – dehydrated oranges, redcurrants and blackberries. Cinnamon swirls and iced buns are joined by dusty dry earth in the background. The addition of water doesn’t alter the equation all that much – perhaps just a light dusting of icing sugar sweetness.
Taste: The arrival delivers a viscous and rich sherry-forward combination of bright red fruits (redcurrant, cranberry and raspberry) and ex-bourbon wood dry toasty cereals. Oats, toffee popcorn, vanilla pods and maple syrup sit with sappy oak whilst cashew nuts and confectioner’s sugar are gradually enveloped by growing pepperiness in the back palate. Reduction adds juiciness to the fruits – tinned and syrupy – whilst lowering the cask spice influence levels considerable. More unctuous – but less perky.
Finish: Medium to long with fading berry fruit, and drying cinnamon and peppery spicing.
Deanston 2006 Fino Finish overlays red fruits and nuttiness on top of a solid, supple and naturally sweet spirit – the end result is all rather pleasing. It’s vibrant, defined and well-balanced. Just a touch too much drying oak in the back-palate and finish hold it back from being a slam dunk. Nevertheless this is good liquid and pretty keenly priced for the quality on offer.