Deanston 18 Year Old!
Deanston, a Highland distillery housed in an old cotton mill on the banks of the River Teith, claimed the crown in the 8th annual Whisky of the Year blind tasting hosted by specialist spirits retailer The Whisky Exchange. Their 18-year-old expression is a delicious fruity, sweet single malt that has been matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks, cranking the distillery’s distinctive honeyed, fruity character up to eleven.
This year’s shortlist included whiskies from the highlands and the islands, bold sherry bombs, creamy bourbon barrel single malts and a chocolatey Welsh whisky. After much deliberation whisky-loving consumers were encouraged to critique each whisky for nose, palate and finish, and select a first and second choice via a voting form.
All whiskies in the tasting were under £75 retail price, and all ongoing, commercially available releases. In addition to Deanston 18 Year Old, the shortlist featured:
Glen Moray 18 (runner up)
Oban 2006 Distillers Edition
Mortlach 16 Year Old
Old Pulteney 15 Year Old
Deanston is not your typical distillery and Deanston 18 is not your average dram. Matured for 18 years in American white oak, ex-bourbon barrels, the end result is a dram that is smooth and aromatic, typical of our Deanston distillery style: soft, sweet, honeyed and uniquely waxy in flavour & mouthfeel. This is Deanston in a bottle.
We are truly honoured to have impressed the blind taste panel, and titles don’t get much bigger than whisky of the year.
– Brendan McCarron: Master Distiller at Distell
I am super excited to see Deanston win this year. It is a really underrated distillery that is producing some great tasting whisky at the moment.
– Dawn Davies: Head buyer at The Whisky Exchange
LET’S NOT FORGET RUM AND GIN!
The Whisky Exchange has also recognised other exceptional bottles, a rum and a gin, nominated by industry experts and staff.
Gin of the Year 2022 : Height of Arrows Gin: juniper takes centre stage in this minimalist gin from Holyrood Distillery in Edinburgh. The sole botanical is distilled with salt and beeswax for a full-bodied spirit with great depth and complexity. An exciting direction for gin.
Rum of the Year 2022 : Doorly’s 14 Year Old Rum : a vividly fruity Barbadian rum from Richard Seale’s Foursquare Distillery, Doorly’s 14 Year Old is made using molasses from sugar cane grown on the island and is distilled in a combination of pot and column stills. It has rich notes of golden sultanas, dried figs, mango, rich oak spice and the fruity, high-ester funkiness that is characteristic of Foursquare.