Fuck, why was I complaining about the length of the last whisky’s name? Holy jumping people, we’ve got a new contender for longest whisky name ever reviewed.
So, let’s get it out of the way: Deanston 11 2008 Signatory Vintage Un-Chillfiltered Collection for The Whisky Exchange 20th Anniversary.
Breaking it down: Deanston 11 2008? It’s an 11-year-old Deanston that was distilled in 2008. Fairly easy, we’re all good.
Signatory Vintage Un-Chillfiltered Collection? Independent bottler, under the Un-Chillfiltered Collection. I personally have enjoyed many a Signatory offering, less so the Un-Chillfiltered Collection, as it’s typically not cask strength. It’s usually less abv., and because I’m not at a point in my life where I can throw money around (see: Not being able to time travel to 50 years ago), I’m not going to buy a whisky that isn’t cask strength at a similar price to one that is.
That said, this whisky is Cask Strength, as it was made specifically for: The Whisky Exchange 20th Anniversary.
All good? Great. Deanston recently had a bit of a surge, where single casks came out and were quite interesting and plentiful. I’m assuming that means they ended their “try different casks” period and needed some room.
This one isn’t very weird: It’s a single cask that was aged in a first fill sherry butt, and bottled at Hail Satan! Strength. I previously enjoyed a Deanston rocket fuel picked out by Signatory, and this one ended up being sorted by Whisky Exchange, who have picked some nice stuff too.
But how does it taste? Let’s see, shall we?
Vintage: August 13, 2008
Bottled: August 29, 2019
Cask Type: 1st Fill Sherry Butt
Cask number: 900075
No of bottles: 599
Bottled for: The Whisky Exchange 20th Anniversary
Colour: 10R 4/10
Nose: Raspberry, vanilla ice cream, papaya, red grapes, oatmeal muffin
Fruity, creamy, good hit of vanilla (and I do mean hit) and interesting red fruit/tropical aspects.
But hot damn, this is a… hot dram. I don’t know if I like that sentence.
Water brings out some cereal notes and some more sugar. But this is not for the faint of heart. Or really any other organ. You faint spleen people, watch out.
Taste: Candied apricot, dry cherry, leather, ginger, varnish
Sweet, interesting leath and dry cherry note, and some signs that this could have gone a bit longer. It’s nice, it’s just eye opening. Got a little simpler, though I really like that leather note.
If that leather was there without the varnish/rough notes, I think I’d like this even more. That said, I went back for more.
Finish: Cinnamon, plum, ginger, honey, walnut
Sadly it gets a bit too simple at the end. I’m missing the interesting aspects in the finish, which shows the age here. Still nice, if still hot, but what else was I expecting with a Beezlebub beverage?
Conclusion: A really tasty dram that’s hot as hell and goes a bit basic near the end. This will change your view on Deanston if you’ve only ever had OB (and not the really nice distillery exclusives). This is hot, hot, and more hot with a good balance on the sherry and distillery profile.
There are flaws, though: The taste is rough at times, and gets rougher as you give it more time/add water. The finish is just too simple. That all said, I’d say pick up a bottle if you get the chance. You just don’t see whiskies like this as much and who knows when Deanston will clear out the warehouse again.
Scotch review #1582, Highland review #265, Whisky Network review #2306