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