Sherried Single Cask Highlands Single Malt
I am not too familiar with Deanston. I’ve had a few single casks here and there but nothing from their core range at all. Even going back through my notebook when I starting writing reviews, I can only find one other bottle I’ve reviewed. I’m excited to dive right in and sample this single malt.
On the nose that Pedro Ximénez cask makes itself quite evident despite only a 6 month finish. Lots of fruit and sherry funk flavors to dig into. Aside from obvious grape and raisin notes, apples and bitter baking chocolate stand out first to me. A bit of citrus oil kind of meanders on the nose. Then there’s this scent I can only describe as soil. It’s like a muddy rain puddle. The PX cask just smells super musty and old. Adding a few drops of water really brings out the fruit and citrus more. Some light floral scents come out and the alcohols smell like dark chocolate covered raisins.
The malt shines on the palate. Rich cereal grains with the wine perfuming as you take a sip. The musty flavor is present here like old raisins, figs, and currents. Jammy. Lots of old oak influences. Dried tobacco and a mild leather note. Initially I dismissed the spiced wine flavors, but with water these become more present on the tongue. Some cinnamon and clove pair nicely with the sweet wine.
Slightly dry finish with those baking spices rounding off each sip. The nutty side of the wine is showcased here with a decent length of finish. Figs and dates linger as those warming spices pull everything together. I expected more bitter tannins but they aren’t really present. The PX is rather sweet and does the heavy lifting of balancing the oak.
I rather enjoyed this dram. It didn’t go too far into the tannic side but also didn’t overpower the malt with the sweet flavors of the wine. Water really helped things out bringing the much needed citrus element forward. I’m certainly not disappointed but I can’t say that I’m blown away with this sample. It’s balanced and well made. The cask type lifts the spirit rather than one note overpowering another. Proof allows you to bring it down to wherever you enjoy and for that I’m thankful. This gives me high hopes for other Deanston samples!