Deanston Distillery

Deanston Distillery

  • Scotland
  • Silver Medal at Scottish Whisky Awards,
Phone Number
  • +44 1786 843010
  • Teith Rd, Deanston, Doune FK16 6AG, United Kingdom

Deanston Distillery building exterior, Scotland.

History of Deanston Distillery

The Deanston Distillery, founded by Brodie Hepburn, has a rich history that intertwines with the local community and environment. Established in 1965 in a former cotton mill, the distillery is located near the powerful River Teith in Deanston, Scotland. 

This river not only provides soft water ideal for whisky making but also powers the distillery, symbolizing Deanston’s commitment to sustainability and community integration.

Deanston Distillery is renowned for its traditional, hands-on whisky-making methods, including long fermentation processes that contribute to the distinct flavors of its highland single malt. 

The distillery sources its barley locally, maintaining close ties with Scottish farmers, which reflects its dedication to local ingredients and quality.

The types of whisky offered by Deanston are characterized by their smooth, sweet profiles, predominantly matured in ex-bourbon barrels. These whiskies are unpeated, with notes of honey and heather, and are known for their waxy, soft, and smooth qualities. 

Deanston encourages enjoying their whisky in various forms, whether neat, with water, or in cocktails, catering to diverse preferences.

Process of Whiskey Crafting at Deanston Distillery

The crafting process of Deanston Distillery’s whisky involves several traditional and meticulous steps:

  • Water Source: The process begins with water from the River Teith, known for its softness due to flowing over granite. This water is essential for both whisky production and powering the distillery’s turbines.
  • Barley: Deanston exclusively uses Scottish-grown barley, sourced from local farmers. The barley is milled into grist, ensuring a perfect mix of quick and slow natural sugars for fermentation.
  • Mashing: The milled grist is mixed with hot water in an open-topped mash tun, one of the few still in use in Scotland. This step creates a sweet liquid called ‘wort’, which is carefully drained for fermentation.
  • Fermentation: The wort is transferred to the Wash Back for fermentation, where yeast converts the sugars into alcohol, producing a liquid known as ‘wash’. Deanston’s fermentation process is notably long, averaging 100 hours, which contributes to the whisky’s fruity flavors and intricate character.
  • Distillation: The wash is then heated in wash stills, encouraging evaporation. The vapors condense and move to the spirit stills, undergoing a second distillation. The process separates the liquid into three parts: the head, the tail, and the ‘heart of the run’. Only the ‘heart’, the middle or spirit cut, is used for Deanston whisky.
  • Maturation: The ‘new make’ spirit is reduced with water from the River Teith to 63.5% and then aged in oak wood casks. These casks are stored in the cool weaving shed of the original mill, allowing the whisky to mature and develop its unique flavor profile.

Throughout these steps, Deanston Distillery emphasizes traditional, hands-on methods, and a commitment to local ingredients and sustainable practices, resulting in their distinctive highland single malt whisky.



Awards Won by Deanston Distillery

Deanston Distillery has been recognized with various awards for its exceptional whiskies. 

Silver Medal at Scottish Whisky Awards: The Deanston 18 Year Old received a Silver Medal in the “Single Malt 17 – 20 Year Old” category at the Scottish Whisky Awards.

This competition is a significant event in the whisky industry, highlighting outstanding products across various categories​​.

Additionally, the Deanston 18 Year Old was celebrated in 2022, recognized for its unique balance of waxy spirit character and American oak influence.

This expression of Deanston’s single malt Scotch whisky has garnered attention and acclaim, further cementing the distillery’s reputation for producing high-quality spirits​​.

Deanston Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Deanston Distillery offers a variety of immersive experiences for visitors, each designed to showcase their unique whisky-making process and the distinct qualities of their highland single malt whisky. Here are the key experiences available:

Warehouse Experiences

This experience allows visitors to immerse themselves in the world of Deanston by visiting one of their warehouses. 

Participants can enjoy a guided whisky tasting of different ages of Deanston Bourbon casks in the Maturation Experience, or sample special drams straight from the cask in the Warehouse 4 Experience.

It’s important to note that this experience does not include a tour of the distillery.

Deanston Whisky Tastings

For those interested in exploring the unique flavors of Deanston single malt, the distillery offers whisky tasting experiences. 

Visitors can taste classic Deanston whiskies, limited editions, or distillery exclusives. Like the Warehouse Experiences, this does not involve a tour of the distillery.

Production Tours

Visitors can discover where and how Deanston’s scotch whisky is made. The tour includes a guided walk through the distillery, offering insights into their unique production methods. 

After the tour, guests have the opportunity to sample some of Deanston’s hand-crafted single malts.

Tobermory Gin Experience

Although not directly related to whisky, this experience is for gin enthusiasts.

It includes tasting three hand-crafted gins, including award-winning Hebridean and Mountain Gins and the new Distillery Exclusive Coast Gin from Deanston’s sister distillery, Tobermory Distillery. This experience also does not involve a tour of the distillery.

Flask & Barrel Review of Deanston Distillery

As a seasoned whiskey collector and a veteran of many distillery tours, my experience at Deanston Distillery was quite impressive, earning a solid 4.7 out of 5 from me. Here’s why:

First off, the location is simply beautiful. Nestled on the banks of the River Teith, the setting has a rustic charm that immediately sets the tone for a genuine Scotch whisky experience.

The historic building, which once was a cotton mill, adds to the character of the place. The tour itself was a standout. It was both informative and engaging, providing a deep dive into the distillery’s unique production process.

As someone who’s been on numerous tours, I appreciated the in-depth explanations and the passion of the guides. They really know their stuff and convey it with enthusiasm.

Now, let’s talk about the star of the show: the whisky. Deanston’s range is impressive. The tasting session was a treat, with each sample showcasing the distinct character of the distillery. 

The highlight for me was their 18-Year-Old Single Malt. It has a perfect balance of richness and subtlety, with a delightful waxy texture and hints of candied orange peel and soft fruits. It’s no surprise it’s won awards.

The only slight drawback, and the reason for my 4.7 rating, was the visitor center. While it’s cozy and well-stocked, I felt it could be a bit more spacious, especially during peak times.

In conclusion, Deanston Distillery is a must-visit for any whisky enthusiast. It’s a place where traditional craft meets quality spirit in a picturesque Scottish setting. If you’re a fan of Scotch, this distillery should definitely be on your list!

What To Do Nearby Deanston Distillery

  1. Blair Drummond Safari Park: A short drive away, this park offers a unique experience with a variety of wild animals, including dinosaurs, making it a great choice for a family day out.
  2. Doune Castle: This historic site is not only a former royal residence but has also featured in popular TV shows and movies. It’s a must-visit for history buffs and pop culture enthusiasts.
  3. Argaty Red Kites: For nature lovers, this is a fantastic spot to observe red kites in their natural habitat.
  4. Local Food and Drink: The area boasts a range of artisan food suppliers and cafes. MacLeans of Deanston is known for handcrafted delicacies, while the Trossachs Pie and Pastry Company offers award-winning pies. For a coffee break, Buttercup Cafe and Simply Sarah’s are excellent choices.
  5. Seasonal Activities: Doune and its surroundings offer distinct experiences in every season, from blooming flowers in spring to festive events like the Deanston Winter Fest and Doune Christmas Fayre in winter.
  6. Walking and Cycling: The area offers various walking routes, from short family-friendly walks around Doune Ponds to more challenging routes towards Dunblane. Cycling enthusiasts can also enjoy the local landscape on two wheels.
  7. Historic and Scenic Tours: The region is rich in history and natural beauty. You can explore on foot, or even better, bring a bike to cover more ground and enjoy the scenic routes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Deanston Distillery?

  • Nick’s: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441786831616. Their address is 28 Henderson St, Bridge of Allan, Stirling FK9 4HR, United Kingdom.
  • The Village Inn & Caterers: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441786823911. Their address is 5 Stirling Rd, Dunblane FK15 9EP, United Kingdom.
  • River House Stirling: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441786465577. Their address is The Castle Business Park, Stirling FK9 4TW, United Kingdom. 

What hotels are near Deanston Distillery?

  • The Woodside – eat / drink / stay: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441786643399. Their address is Stirling Road, Doune FK16 6AB, United Kingdom.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441786822551. Their address is Perth Rd, Dunblane FK15 0HG, United Kingdom.
  • Old Churches House: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441786823663. Their address is Kirk St, Dunblane FK15 0AN, United Kingdom.