Sunday, 12 January 2014
Deanston Batch #1 - That Boutique-y Whisky Company
Dram number 2 in the advent calendar comes from the Deanston distillery. Deanston Batch #1 was bottled by independent bottlers - That Boutique-y Whisky Company. According to the Master of Malt website (where the whisky can be purchased) the Deanston distillery used to be a cotton mill. It was converted into a distillery in the 60's. The pop art looking label on the full size bottle depicts two hippies to capture the spirit of the 60's. Upon further research (Thank You Google) I was able to see that the conversion took place in 1965.
The Grateful Dead also got their start in 1965, playing and recording under various band names within and around the San Francisco area. They also played as the house band during the acid tests. The acid tests were a series of parties hosted by Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. During these parties people would drop acid as a group in order to see what would happen. Would they find a new level of consciousness, a new understanding of life or just dance about barefoot while giant flowers exhaled visible musical notes all around them. For the answer read the Electric Kool Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. The Grateful Dead recordings from this era were traded for years (as almost all of the bands shows are) and became an official release in 2003.
Deanston and early Dead. This should be a perfect match.
Nose: After an initial sharpness I found lots of vanilla and peppermint. I not only smelled the mint but also felt it, almost like when you breathe in vaporub. There was also a lot of honey which almost seemed to have been steeped with a touch of ginger. beautiful in its ability to warm and cool at the same time.
Palate: WOW. That is the most honey sweet whisky I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. This honey encases all other notes. Vanilla, carob (?), smoke, dates, kumquat and at the end traces of mint and a touch of ginger. The mouth feel is full and velvety.
Finish: The finish is long. The honey coats the mouth. Intermittently that mint comes back, more felt than tasted.
I don't know much about Deanston but after this I am going to be on the lookout for other expressions. A delicious whisky that melts your heart with its honey sweetness while cooling your mind with that weird (in a good way) minty vapour.
This tasting is a good reminder for me that it's important to keep trying different whiskies. There is really no end to what can be done or to what flavour profiles can be achieved. Let the experiment continue so that I may further my palate.