The Deanston 12 YO single malt is the foundation of the entire product line. It is aged exclusively in ex-Bourbon casks and is a multi-silver and gold award winner.
Even though we have argued that Deanston is indeed "legally " located in the Highlands, we think is tastes more like a light Lowlander. the aroma is a bit grassy, like freshly mown hay and it smells like it would be rather sweet. On the palate you get some fruits, but there is more nuttiness and a hint of salt - think chewy granola bar - with wood. The finish is short and soft.
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Deanston is the only distillery we are aware of to have a Whisky that is certified organic.
All Whisky is still aged onsite in the original weaving shed. It has the capacity to hold 45,000 casks at a time.
The original cotton mill employed nearly every woman in the local village. So they built a school house on site for their children to be close by. That school is still in operation to this day.
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There is a bit of controversy about the location of Deanston Distillery. It's not about whether it actually exists or not, everyone agrees that it does exist, and they agree on the actual address. What is sometimes disputed is whether it resides in the Highlands or the Lowlands.
Some sources chicken out and say that it is in the "Midlands" (whatever that is supposed to mean), but "Midlands" has no official recognition in any register of Whisky that we are aware of, so let's set that nonsense aside.
To the best of our knowledge, looking at the official designation maps, the city of Stirling is the cut-off between the Lowlands and Highlands. Deanston is a tad north of Stirling, thus, Deanston is a Highlander. Enough said, go about your business and be done with it.
The history of Deanston... well, let's just say that there is another controversy here. Some sources list the founding date as 1785. Others say 1957, and still others say 1966. So which is it?
Well the "buildings" were indeed built in 1785, but they were designed to be a cotton mill. It was actually a very successful cotton mill. In fact, it created some serious innovation in the mill industry at the time.
The mill was the infrastructure of the town. Roads, water wheels and a whole lot more were built to support this thriving business.
The local area even got the knickname "Deanston Village" because it had such huge influence. Well, the times were a'changing and the cotton market shifted. The mill slowly starved until it closed in 1965. The entire local community depended on this plant for their livelihoods.
But the large plant, steam turbines, solid buildings, and new roads did not sit vacant for long. Almost immediately, three large local businesses saw potential and converted the facility into a distillery, which opened for business in 1967.
The first spirits were bottled in 1971, and the first single malt was bottled a few years later -- named Old Bannockburn. Then they issued a blended Whisky called Teith Mill.
The success of the conversion, and strong sales of their various products, caught the attention of Invergordon Distillers. They initially bought a large share, then purchased it outright a few years later. Several ownership shakeups and mergers later, they are now owned by Distell Group.
Deanston is a mid-sized facility with a production capacity of about 3 million liters per year. It is one of the few remaining "hand crafted" distilleries, in that there is no computerization or automation -- everything is done by hand measurements and taste.
Production at Deanston is very unique. The four stills are the only ones we are aware of, that have their upper lyne arms sloped upward,instead of down -- which is supposed to make the spirit even lighter.
CountryUnited Kingdom, Scotland
No. of stills2 wash, 2 spirit
AddressDeanston Distillery, 32 Teith Rd, Deanston, Doune FK16 6AJ, UK
A transcript for non-audio situations
Male 1: Hello and welcome to whisky.com where fine spirits meet. Today, we visit the Deanston distillery. It is about a 40-minute drive north of Glasgow. The distillery is right next to the river Teith and now we can already see the buildings. The distillery of Deanston used to be a cotton mill that was founded in 1785 and produced until 1965. Then it was transformed into a distillery producing single malt Whisky. If you want to know more about this, visit whisky.com to see more details.
Unfortunately this wasn't the only bankruptcy in the history of the Deanston distillery, so the buildings we visit today weren't reopened in 1991. The river Teith is used for many things: first of all as an energy source, second of all to cool the process water in the distillation process, and for the mashing and the fermentation process. So the water from the river Teith ends up in the Whisky bottles. The visitor center is built up very nicely, with a lot of souvenirs. And one special thing about it is that you can bottle your own Deanston straight from the cask.
Male 2: Do you want us to just [inaudible 00:01:47] or do you want us to just...
Female 1: No, it'll be...Elise [SP] will be taking them round, so just sort away the rest of them and then...
Female 2: Yeah, [inaudible 00:01:59].
Male 1: And here we see a nice display of all the original bottlings of the distillery. Note the big gap between 1974 and 1992. And now we're in the backyard of the Deanston distillery. Here lie the many empty casks that await their fillings from the spirit vats. It doesn't matter if you store empty casks lying or standing. Here we see spirit vat number one and number two. They are used to balance the production and the filling process. The humming sound that we already hear is the generator that produces electricity from the river Teith. The most power of the electricity goes into the national grid. And now we are at the malt site. Currently we looked at screw conveyor transporting the malt into the malt mill. This is now the malt mill, a very old cast iron machine. The malt mill doesn't grind down the malt into a fine flour but a course substance the Scottish people call grist.
Male 3: [inaudible 00:04:23].
Male 1: This is actually the first malt mill we are able to look inside.
Male 4: [inaudible 00:04:39].
Male 1: After grinding the malt you have to make the mash and this is done in the in the tun room. In the tun room, we find the old mash tun. It is old cast iron mash tun with no lid on it. This mash tun has already finished the mashing process and is now emptied into the wash backs. This apparatus here inserts the grinded down malt into the mash tun. The sprinkler system then adds the water. And now we're in the room with the wash backs. This is the wash back that is filled while the mash tun is being emptied. And now we're inside the still room. The Deanston distillery has four pot stills, two wash stills and two spirit stills. All the spirits stills are heavy constriction piece [SP] and the movements bulb [SP] to increase the smoothness of the Whisky. The pot stills have a capacity of 20,000 and 70,000 liters and that is very big for Scottish pot stills. After the spirit is stilled, it is stored in the spirit vats and then filled into the casks for maturation. Every cask is hand-filled, the bunghole is sealed and then weighed to calculate the tax that is necessary to pay for the Whisky inside the cask and here we see our [inaudible 00:06:21] sealing a cask.
Female 3: They will be weighed, emptied and then [inaudible 00:06:34].
Male 1: Every cask is correctly labeled and then rolled into the depths of the warehouse where it is stored for at least three years.
Female 3: [inaudible 00:07:00].
Male 1: The storing of the Whisky casks is done by the top man of the Deanston distillery. And here we see some Whisky casks with signatures of famous celebrities on them. Thank you for watching and if you like this video, then please, rate, comment or subscribe.