Q&A with Master Blender Julieann Fernadez: What is Banyuls?

Q&A with Master Blender Julieann Fernadez: What is Banyuls?

There is a first time for everything and a Banyuls Cask finish is one for Deanston. We sat down with our Master Blender Julieann Fernandez to talk everything Banyuls and how the cask of this sweet red French wine impacts our waxy Deanston liquid.

Q1: Why Banyuls wine casks? 

We haven’t finished Deanston in Banyuls casks before, and with Deanstons unique waxy character it lends itself so well to a number of different cask types, so I knew the spirit would be complimented by the flavours of figs and strawberries from the Banyuls cask 

Q2: How do Banyuls wine casks uniquely contribute to the flavour profile of the expression? 

The Banyuls casks add a complex aromatic profile – initially a sweet note with a beautiful cherry aroma which compliments the citrusy character of Deanston. The casks also added a hint of black pepper, oak and chocolate.  

Q3: And how does that pull out the signature waxy flavour profile of Deanston? 

The sweet tannins from the Banyuls cask amplifies the waxy flavour and mouthcoating and it’s the unique waxy character that hold together all of the amazing flavours from the Deanston spirit and the Banyuls cask, allowing the flavours to present in harmony with each other  

Q4: Were there any unexpected or surprising flavour developments during the maturation period in Banyuls wine casks?   

There’s a really unique candy note which I wasn’t expecting. It’s almost like Turkish delight or fresh rose petals. I expected red berries to be the most prominent note, but it’s more floral with a hint of spice. 

Q5: How does Deanston Banyuls Finish compare to previous experimental releases, such as our Deanston Tequila Cask expression?   

It’s completely different in terms of flavour – the Tequila expression is floral and fruity with notes of caramelised agave, whereas the Banyuls is more on the dark fruit side of things, with lots ofcreamy strawberries. But what’s great about both of these expressions is that the character of Deanston hasn’t been lost and it shows just how adaptable and experimental Deanston is. 

Q6: From your perspective, who do you think will find Deanston Banyuls Finish most appealing: collectors, connoisseurs, or those who are just starting to explore the whisky category?

Deanston Banyuls can be enjoyed by everyone. It’s an approachable, easy to drink whisky which is perfect for people starting their whisky journey, but its also really complex with lots of layers of flavours from almond and figs to red chilli flakes which connoisseurs will enjoy. 

Q7: What do you hope drinkers will experience or appreciate most when enjoying this expression? 

I hope they appreciate how adaptable Deanston is and how it’s waxy character means it can spend time in a number of different casks with bold flavours, but we never lose the character of Deanston. 

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