Dram Review: Deanston batch 1 – That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Thanks to the chaps at Master of Malt for sending me a sample of this to review.

As stated in previous reviews, whiskies from That Boutique-y Whisky Company are blended (or created) by the chaps at master of malt and give a boutique style presentation with 50cl bottles and uniquely designed labels tailored to the distilleries represented by the whisky.

The Deanston label depicts the conversion of and old cotton mill into Deanston distillery, an event that happened in the 1960s. Giving a nod to the date, the picture shows 2 hippies watching the delivery of a pot still.

Here are the dramstats:


  • Price £46.95 only from here.
  • ABV 50.8%
  • 50cl

Nose: Fig rolls, green apple and sultana cereal bars. Dunked rich tea and gariboldi biscuits. Apple astro belts. This is quite true to the standard Deanston 12 year old expression. Time in the glass leads to woody notes and fresh baked sultana cake.

Palate: Oak, chalky mouthfeel. Apples from the nose are not immediately present and it takes water to tease out some mild apple and sultana cake.

Finish: The apples make an appearance then the chalky oak completely dries the mouth. Spitting feathers here! With water some faint green apple and woody notes give way to pepper. More water doesn’t release any further notes from the nose, it just drowned the whisky.

Verdict: I loved the nose as a first dram of the evening, but I couldn’t get close to it on the palate or finish so this isn’t one for my tastes. I concede that this nose is more complex and, in my view better, but I do prefer the standard Deanston 12 (reviewed here) to this.


The 12 drams of xmas: Day 3

Today we continue the series of reports on the 12 drams of xmas twitter tasting event.

To give you a quick reminder, 11 online whisky enthusiasts poured half a bottle of whisky into 10 sample bottles and sent them to the other 10 taking part. The bottles were marked only with the number of the day we were due to start. On the given day, we all blind tasted the chosen dram and tried to guess what it was.

Though I did well on some of the drams and embarrassingly badly on some others, I’m posting my tasting notes, my unedited guesses and revealing the answers. I will understand if, having read this series, you decide to take my word in the future with a pinch of salt!

Dram #3 was from Adrian Barnett (@mynameisgone) on twitter. Here are my notes:

Nose: Smokey sweet and coastal, coastal peat with midori melon liqueur on lobster! Also a nice steak pie note came through after time in the glass.

Palate: Sweet and smokey with a cough sweets note. Reminds me of the Bowmore fishermans friend note. Melon and dark fruits come through and there is a reminder of sloe gin.

Finish: Melon note with salty peat, cough sweets and bitter caramel.

My guess: I really wasn’t sure with this one. It wasn’t really like any Islay dram I’d had with the melon notes, but I didn’t have a clue and plugged for Bowmore 15 year old at 40%ABV because of the fishermans friend note (having looked it up Bowmore 15 darkest is 43% so that was an error on the ABV there).

The answer: Deanston 12 year old Highland whisky, The Whisky Shop Glenkier Treasures, 40% ABV


I had the standard Deanston 12 year old expression from the advent calendar (see this post). It was nothing like this. Sure the fresh fruit was there, but I wonder if this is quite a different style of Deanston with some light peat that The Whisky Shop have gotten hold of. Maybe what i thought was peat was something else entirely? Spectacularly wrong, yet still in the game!

Dram Review: Deanston 12 (Whisky Advent Calendar: day 3)

Day 3. A monday morning. Made infinitely better by opening an advent calendar with whisky inside!

Today was the first day I’ve opened a window to find a whisky inside that I’d not tried before. And here it is


Deanston 12 year old!

I have heard good things about this, perhaps unfashionable, single malt whisky. Deanston is part of the Burn Stewart group that includes Black Bottle, Bunnahabhain, Tobermory and Ledaig. Burn Stewart recently took the bold decision to overhaul their malts and give them a craft presentation.

What do I mean by “craft presentation”? I mean they upped the ABV to 46.3%, they don’t chill filter and they don’t add caramel colouring. Excellent!

So, with my anticipation at a peak, here are the dramstats:

  • ABV 46.3%
  • Non coloured
  • Non chill filtered
  • Price £30

Nose: Fresh fruit, strawberry liquorice, fresh red apple and pears. Malty biscuit adds to the nose and reminds me of apple turnovers. Sweet vanilla and clean bourbon.

Palate: Apple chips, pear drops, apple sourz, fizzy apple haribo.

Finish: Waves of apple and pear. The tangy apple gives a sour bite and then gets really sweet and juicy, before creamy vanilla comes in from the sides.

Verdict: Love this, and total bargain at the price. A very light and fruity early evening dram with a great presentation. Check it out!