Deanston is located to the north of Edinburgh, just above the 'Highland line' (this is an imaginary line that divides the Highland whisky region from the Lowland region). It is a reasonably large and modern distillery, producing 3 million litres per year and opening in 1965. However, the distillery is housed in an old cotton mill and weaving factory and these buildings date back to 1785. Deanston is owned by Burn Stewart Distillers, who are also own two other distilleries – Bunnahabhain on Islay and Tobermory on the island of Mull. The majority of the whisky produced at Deanston goes into various blends that are produced for export to Europe and Asia. This is the only current official bottling from the distillery and it is little known in the UK, but extremely popular in Europe (especially France). Independent bottlings are available but reasonably limited.
This whisky looks pale (think of straw) and the nose smells light and fresh. There is some sweet maltiness (imagine smelling a handful of grain) mixed with fresh grass cuttings and something nutty (it reminded me of the linseed oil that I use on my cricket bat!). There is also a whiff of smokiness. On the palate, it is light and very refreshing, with the malty sweetness and the grassiness from the nose mixing with a more prominent nuttiness (think of walnuts), some citrus notes that give it a bit of zing (imagine lemon zest) and a hint of smoke in the background. The finish is short, crisp and very dry. The citrus and nuts are evident with the herbal grassy note coming in right at the end. This is a pretty good and refreshing and reminded me more of a Lowland whisky (these are normally light, fresh and zesty) than of a Highland. It would be perfect for a hot day or as an introduction for someone who has never tried whisky before. It also sells for a bargain price of around £20 and is well worth a try.