This expression from the Deanston Distillery was first launched in 2010 and was a successful experiment from the distillery due to their innovative and entrepreneurial ways!
Using new oak casks from the Kelvin Cooperage in Kentucky, they were one of the first distilleries to have a core range product using Virgin Oak Casks for finishing.
What I loved about the initial release of the Deanston Virgin Oak, Burn Stewart Distillers did not shy away from the details. Yes, it is a non-aged statement but on the tasting cards it did state minimum age of six years and oldest whisky in the bottle being ten years. Making it a six year whisky. When the bottle design changed, Distell focused more on the essence of the whisky being finished in Virgin Oak Casks and none of the age.
You can say that Deanston was one of the first to really use Virgin Oak Casks to finish whisky, we are now seeing many more popping up and using the expertise of the Kelvin Cooperage including Glenfiddich and their 14 Year Bourbon Barrel Reserve and The Balvenie with their 12 Year Old - The Sweet Toast of American Oak. If you read the tasting notes, they all sound quite similar and each have been matured in bourbon wood then finished in Virgin Oak!
Distilleries these days are becoming more and more innovative and I have to say I was a believer in whiskies from the 1970s being some of the best but I have to agree with my whisky pal Nicolas Villalon of The Macallan, that some of the best whisky is currently being made and is about to be tasted. One thing is true in history that over the years distillers have continuously perfected the art of distilling more each and every year!
Now back to Deanston, if there was ever an idea to please the whisky enthusiasts I would recommend to put a 6 Year label on the bottle of Virgin Oak - if that is still the youngest whisky in the bottle!
I for one am very excited to see what Deanston will produce over the next couple years. Sadly I don’t see us seeing many in Canada - with less and less coming this way with more focus on other areas around the world!