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Deanston 12 Year Old

(70cl, 46.3%)

Deanston 12 Year Old

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Deanston 12 Bottling Note

The new, relaunched 12 year old, this single malt has been bottled at a slightly higher proof, negating the necessity for chill-filtration and as such retaining more of its original charm. A lovely dram from the Deanston distillery.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Light, cereals, zesty orange marmalade. Barley.

Palate: Soft, nutty, caramel. Touch of salinity. Oak.

Finish: Soft, quite abrupt, caramel.

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Deanston 12 Year Old Reviews

I'll buy it again.

A solid Scotch for the price. Well-rounded and smooth, with a nice nose.

14th October 2020

amazing for money

One of the great 12 yr olds... Fabulous bargain.
this has pretty much everything bar sherry..


17th July 2020

Beautiful sweet honey !

Incredible whisky, my guess is its aged in well fired casks which gives so much vanilla honey and sweetness on the palate. Absolute delight for the price.

17th July 2020

All in all, a very nice Scotch

Not being the type that takes my Scotch neat, I make myself a Rob Roy, three shots of Deanston, a generous shaking of bitters, and two shots of Sweet Vermouth, drink this over the course of an hour or so...left with a very nice, mellow afterglow.

6th July 2020

We do not hear enough about Deanston

Nose: Beautifully balanced timber orange.

Palate: Scented cloves, but in a divinely balanced performance. Wonderous. 

After: The after is medium in length and in its lacks particular characteristics, but that said the palate is so sublime you dance to that tune.

5th July 2020


Amazing value - very complex and interesting for a 12 yo. Un-chillfiltered, 46.3% ABV and natural colour, thumbs up!

There are some bitter notes on the notes that I am not quite able to put my finger on. I have had a bottle of the 15 yo organic and actually prefer this 12 yo as I find it much more accessible. The 15 yo took a lot more effort, and never got as enjoyable as this one IMO.

9th June 2020


Its tastes amazing, its over 46% its non chilfilterd and its free of caramel colour. Plus its cheaper than many crap blends, a must buy.

26th May 2020


Honey, vanilla, cereal, toffee. Water and time balance things very nicely. A delicious dram - easy-going but interesting.

14th May 2020

Interesting and surprising, but the sweetness is not my cup of tea.

My first impression on the nose was blackcurrant. Jeez, I sound like a spoff! I got a bit of Laphroaig-ian phenol too. The taste is a curiously sweet one, maybe tablet?

29th April 2020

Didn't work for me

I spent 2-3 hours reading and watching reviews of this one, bought it recently and was disappointed, I was looking forward to this one because it's said to be one of the best 12 yr out there, it is ralfy's whisky of the year (2020) and he gave it 89 points in his review.

But well, my bottle wasn't near any heat source in the store, but the batch could have been flawed though, It's not likely though. I didn't find the whisky to be smooth, rich or even sweet.

I wanted to give this 4-5 stars as I expected but something went wrong. It wasn't like "bad, bad" but it wasn't either like all the reviewers said. Or maybe it was just too harsh for me..

9th April 2020

Now THAT is real improvement.

This new incarnation of Deanston 12 is lovely. Kudos to Deanston for upping the ABV and dropping filtration. This is a nice old-school, full and satisfying whiskey. It's pretty obvious why Ralfy made this his whiskey of the year. It's a very fine dram at an affordable price.

3rd April 2020


Nastiest stuff I ever sipped. Forced down half a bottle. Poured the rest down the sewer.

8th February 2020

superb whisky for price

Nose: fresh and light, with citrus

Palate: Smooth and seaside feel..

Finish: nigh on perfect end for me. warm, controlled and more orange and lemon

5th February 2020

Great Malt

Beautiful light taste with lots of fruit and sweetness. A lovely oily texture which masks the actual alcohol proof of the Malt, and as a result makes it far too easy to indulge!! A superb Malt Whisky. After all this time and past experiences of lovely Malts, this is my favourite.

7th January 2020

A great malt

I only drink Taliskar and Deanston 12 yo it’s fresh, light, subtle and the antidote to peaty, seaweedy, heaven

17th December 2019

A revelation

It's been over a decade since I have had this and wow it is so much better. Malty, nutty and zesty with a nice balance of sweetness and a long finish for a 12 year old. I really can see why people are starting to talk about this distillery.

21st November 2019

One of my favs. I pick up something new from it every dram. I may have reviewed this before. Can't wait to visit distillery. For a 13...GREAT!

Fields of barley on a hot, sunny day with a hint of farmer's dust to the nose. Freshly cut, bitter oak with some sweet vanilla to the palate. The finish starts off slow and soft and then hits me with a quick but enjoyable, tingling zing

6th September 2019

Good malt at a great price.

Very nice, fruity, sweet and mildly spicy 12 year old. Good quality for the very reasonable price. Quite complex. I prefer not to add water, but that's personal taste.

24th July 2019

This is really good.

I can get this for 50 bucks tax and all. May be the best all around 12 year old I have tried.

15th July 2019

Probably the best value for money 12-Year-Old Highlander on the market today.

Isn't it odd the amount of comments saying that they don't know what type cask this is and one even saying he thinks it's matured in Ex-Sherry. In fact this is an absolute classic Ex-Bourbon cask matured single malt. Anyone who has ever experienced Kentucky Bourbon matured in charred American White oak barrels would not fail to recognise the previous contents of the cask type which this Scotch was matured in. Being that it is natural colour and a light golden straw hue, is another dead give away.

16th June 2019

malt vanilla honey oak

One of THE best 12 y.o core expressions out there. This new version with the white label is apparently much better than the old brown one.

8th June 2019


Multi layered flavour
Our go to at all levels

8th July 2018

Easy on the water!

The 5-star rating is purely for the juice itself, not in context of price/value nor transparency (would be nice to know the casks used).

Just a comment so say that Ralfy (of Ralfystuff on Youtube, the only reviews you'll ever need), Ralfy is spot on, as always. In his review he mentions not adding too much water to this Deanston. A few days ago I poured a dram and added the typical amount of water I add to 46% malts - perhaps 3 tea spoons. It was too much! Last night I added about a teaspoon and the experience was totally different. Better add a drop at a time to see how much is right for you. But with the right amount this is a lovely dessert malt with substance and body.

12th June 2018

Lovely dessert malt

I'm enjoying this. It's frustrating that their website talks about honesty yet fails to even tell you the casks used for maturing this 12 core expression. But I enjoy them all. I am no expert or snob or connoisseur, but this one tastes to me like a sherry monster. Reminds me of Aberlour 12 48% un-chill filtered, Macallan Gold, Glenmo Lasanta - it may not be exactly like those, but it covers that side of the palette. It also tastes good on the palate ;) Being un-chill filtered and above 46% and presumably natural color it's an honest offering.

5th June 2018

It's alright but had a lingering aftertaste

Looking for something a bit less expensive I had bought a case of this one recently for the store and took one home tonight. This certainly does not hold up to the last few bottles I had, which were admittedly more expensive - Springbank 15, Springbank 10, and MacAllan 12 sherry cask. It was reminiscent of the MacAllan 12 on the entry, a sweet highland single malt but a bit hot on the finish due to the proof. Flavors were typical highland, caramel toffee with a touch of smoke, all fine and good. But the aftertaste and finish left a taste of cardboard in my mouth for quite a long time, and I have to say it was disappointing. I might use this for godfathers or something, would not really recommend it although the lingering cardboard finish is the only negative I have it is a big one.

6th May 2018

Very easy to sip. With or without a splash of water

Smooth up front. Not harsh on the finnish. A pleasant surprise given the price.

26th November 2017

Not complex, yet good.

50ml Poured into a scotch glass:
Nose: Prominent orange and zest, with underlying cereal tones.

First taste: salinity, a bit nutty and saline tasting. Caramel flavor, but not overly sweet. (I think the saline flavor off sets it) The finish is "soft" with no burn, does not linger.

2nd taste, more of the same, but a little sweeter.

Overall i like this. Not overly complicated and not smokey at all. This is simply easy to sip on. I prefer this over Glen 12. Doesn't drink like a high abv scotch. No burn on the nose or palate.

25th November 2017

Pleasantly surprised

Have been drinking scotch whiskey for 35 years. Bought this one on a hunch! Didn't want to spring for a bottle of Oban and thought this Deanston was fabulous and right up there with my favorite Oban!

5th December 2016

Not impressed

I splurged on a bottle of this and now seriously regret it. Based on my experience, I do not recommend this if you enjoy sipping whisky neat as I do - I don't know if I got a bad batch but it didn't sit well at all and made me feel ill after I'd only had a shot's worth, and I'd call myself an experienced whisky drinker. Not sure whether to let friends try it after the experience. I'd say the 46% is too noticeable and doesn't go down smoothly. Flavour profile is on the spicy side, not particularly delicious but not bad.

4th June 2016

Love it

Absolutely gorgeous!

21st April 2016

Deanston 12 yr

A very good whisky - and I don't like whiskies - but this one was good.

14th March 2016

Deanston 12 y.o

First time ever I tasted Deanston.I was glad to see the Scottish mist in the dram after adding a bit of water,the
unchill filtration is a wonderful thing certainly for the eye.In the nose the barley and the fruity marmelade.,the
first zip without water had a bit of a alcohol nip but went creamy adding a little water.Fresh brewed tea and the smell of a morning piece of toast.A nutty finish completed the tasting,finish is not very long or complex,but a good dram for a decent price.

5th March 2016

Sipping away

Excellent for the price. Orange peel, raisins and caramel on the nose. Velvet on the palate with oak and a vanilla sweetness.

16th February 2016

Deanston 12 year old

A lovely smooth dram. Well worth the investment.

12th February 2016

September 2015

Took my husband on the tour in September for part has his birthday loved it, I got him a bottle to take home to England didn't last long was very nice.
Will be ordering some more for the cupboard

15th November 2015

A new favourite

Relatively new to the single malt scene, I've come to love this, sadly currently unavailable, or so it seems, in Quebec and Ontario. I have been able however to acquire it from colleagues and relatives traveling in the US, where it can be obtained for as little as $55USD ($70CAD at present exchange)which I consider to be an absolute bargain.

3rd June 2015

more than decent

I live in a small town in Ontario, and although the liquor store expanded, they have stocked the shelves with more facing of the same product the always had, except for a few very expensive blends, under lock and key. I found myself in a store near Toronto and was quite happy shopping for near an hour. The reviews on this site game me want to try the Deanston 12. I am not disappointed, the flavour is easy to enjoy, once past the sharp alcohol in the first sip. This whiskey will be a staple on my shelf, and it is way under priced for the complexity on the tongue, and the abrupt finish. (it makes me want another one, and is that a bad thing?!?) Cheers

4th April 2015

A taste of Scotland

Came to Scotland and the first sample of whisky i´ve got was the Deanston 12 Year Old. I´m not a Whisky nerd, but i must say that this one works out perfect. A nice Whisky for a nice price.

30th March 2015

What a dram

total perfection for a 12 year malt. Sad to say bottle empty.

27th March 2015

Let's Be Honest...

Shenanigans? I don't see that anyone has left a maliciously bad review for Deanston 12 on this thread, although everyone is entitled to their opinions both good and bad. So, let's stick to the dram shall we? :)

From a neat pour the nose initially has a lot of alcohol, the 46.3% isn't hidden well but soon settles down. Not much on the nose, it's fairly hot and confused at first. Then blood orange zest and lots of barley come thru. The palate is velvety with gorgeous oak flavor and lots of salt that transitions into a dry, honey-flavored finish.

Not bad, but not high marks either. This un-chill filtered Deanston has some nice qualities, including a coastal-like salinity which is intriguing for a Midlands distillery. But it unfortunately lacks greatly in depth or layers of flavor, and length of finish.

If you're into light, orange, and oak, and don't mind a touch of smoke, you'll get a much better whisky from a Clynelish 14 at the same price point!

17th March 2015


A bargain for the price. On the nose there is malt, nuts, salt a touch of peat and smoke. Very smoky and nutty on the palate with a very decent finish. Needs time on the glass.

23rd January 2015

Pretty Decent

Pretty good Scotch at a decent price. Light heather honey, beautiful salty citrus Tequila like finish. Would buy again, don't forget it's @46.3 non- chill filtered extra + on that!

10th October 2014

Awesome dram

The best ( to my taste ) of the light caramel+vanilla+Lemmon peel
No need to add water
Tastes like heaven

1st October 2014

Well underrated...

This is what I call craft whisky! Lovely stuff...

26th September 2014

Convert to Deanston 12 Year

I've never been a Scotch drinker but this has won me over. Excellent!

23rd September 2014

Don't believe the bad reviewers...

This is my goto recommendation at my bar to people looking for a lighter dram, but also has complexity. Some of them are experienced scotch drinkers, some are looking to replace their Glenlivets. Without fail, it's always a hit. Simply put, this is a world class whisky that most people can really enjoy. I'll try and be fair about this... if you review a craft whisky and give it a one star, you need to refrain from reviewing and get out there and educate yourself. You're simply not there yet.

23rd September 2014

Raisins in a glass

Jon bought me a bottle of this and we sipped through it quite quickly. Very smooth with bags of raisins on the nose and vanilla lasting... Sadly, not much of it left!


22nd June 2014


Thought is very nice. Smooth with pleasant taste. Would buy again.

12th June 2014

Excellent smooth and distinctive dram.

My title says it all. As others have said, the tone of the negative reviews here renders them highly suspect.

20th May 2014

good stuff

I'm buying some right now

16th May 2014

A Delightful Surprise

Being in the U.S. and not in a major metropolitan area, it is hard to acquire much beyond the "usual suspects." I was intrigued when I saw this in a store near Rochester, NY, and have thoroughly enjoyed it.

19th February 2014


Three bad reviews in a row, and one from a guy who had not drunk it yet. Makes me wonder.

15th February 2014


I forgot to rate..., the economical price helped earn the extra half star.

9th February 2014

Taste is a subjective subject

I recently tried the Deanston 12 yr and wanted to see what others thought of it, hence my visit to this site. I too am confused by the overly negative reviews and agree with one poster's comments that they may have has ulterior motives for the bashing. In my opinion this is a very nice scotch when you are in the mood for something lighter and sweeter, and not in the mood for smoky or peaty offerings. Let me just state for the record that when I am in the mood for the later type, several versions of Laphroaig fit the bill perfectly. It's certainly a matter of personal taste, though I feel almost sorry for those who can only enjoy one narrow taste profile when the world of scotch offers so many to enjoy. I am also slightly curious as to how those negative reviewers feel about Macallans

9th February 2014

Lovely whisky - confusing reviews

I was able to sample this at the weekend and found it light and sweet. I am no stranger to a variety of different malts and blends, so am highly confused by the inconsistency of reviews on this page. I call on someone with the ability to investigate this inconsistency, as it seems a shame for a lovely whisky to be tarnished by these bizarre claims.

27th January 2014

Good god

I see people giving this a good review and I think I must be drinking something else :| this stuff is foul both painful to the nose and pallet. It's how I'd imagine distilled marmite to taste like, don't get me wrong whisky is by far and away my favorite spirit but this stuff is nasty. By all means try it and see for your self but this one certainly isn't for me. In fact most people trying it in the pub were under the same impression.

17th December 2013


I call shenanigans on all the bad reviews for both Deanston and Tobermory 10. I am a restauranteur/bar owner and have stocked both over the course of many years after doing multiple blind tastings. I am a fan of well balanced, subtle, complex, slightly sweet, non-bitter and easy drinking smooth liquors. I am not a fan of harsh, alcohol tasting/burn, overly strong flavors, heavily intense flavors. I can understand why those who prefer a stronger, bolder profile might not enjoy Tobermory or Deanston as much a I do, but in no way can I understand some of the "worst I've ever had" type criticisms from anyone unless they are drinking from a damaged, abused or counterfeit bottle. Or, the bad reviews might be from those with other motives. I urge all to try for themselves, taste blind if possible among a selection of good offerings, and make up one's own mind. Deanston 12 and Tobermory 10 are among my favorite scotch whiskies at any price and are truly great values with price considered. Ledaig also gets a nod from me as well.

17th December 2013

One of our favorites

Sweet and easy to drink, most excellent for the price.

12th December 2013

Lovely Stuff

Just cannot understand the criticism. This is a great malt with a distinctive biscuit flavour and some interesting spices. It's also fantastic value and bottled at 46%. Highly recommended

19th November 2013

Harsh, aggressive, but with some lovely qualities.

In its sharp, lemon-honey flavour, the Deanston 12 is really quite delightful, almost refreshing. The unpleasant alcohol burn, and the over-arching harshness of it make it much harder going than its flavour can carry sadly, even with the addition of water.

11th November 2013

Worst single malt in my collection

The worst single malt I've tried so far (35 different distillers) and worse than many blends. Badly made spirit, aggresive and bitter. Awful.

4th November 2013


found it at joe canal's in Princeton, NJ. haven't tried it yet but the bottle is pretty

3rd October 2013

No Thank You!

I enjoy a range of quality Malts but this isn't one of them. Been given e bottle of Deanston 12 year old and it has to be the most awful whiskey I have tried to drink in 50 years.

1st September 2013

Great stuff

Hard to find but a very decent malt for this cost.

Complicated and very nice drinker.

13th July 2013

Keep coming back

Having explored a reasonable gamut of malts, I find myself returning to this Deanston 12yr over and over again. I think I have now finished 6 bottles of this whisky, and have just today bought another. While this is not a particularly special single malt, what it does have going for it is that spark of taste that keeps you coming back. Consistency is a large key here, and each sip just feels like an old friend you've known for years, and will happily know for life. It is very easy to drink, and quite smooth, both with and without a splash of water. The tasting notes above are pretty accurate to my taste-buds.

29th June 2013

Just awesome malt

Just great and yes...underrated.

1st May 2013

Scotchy Scotch Scotch...

Nothing to see here. Move along...

6th February 2013


The definition of a light, refreshing whisky. Perfectly balanced. Mouth-wateringly zesty, not acidic. Sweet without becoming cloying. And dangerously easy to drink. Wins you over with its subtle charms. I keep coming back to this one.

12th July 2012

Missing the best single malt

We live in the Philadelphia area USA and can't find this anywhere. It was truly the best overall single malt scotch. Light caramel and hint of honey. The 12yr is the best

28th November 2011

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