The new branch of HSBC has opened in Stirling. They needed a whisky expert to entertain customers and potential customers and, of course, they called on me on Wednesday night.
A deal was done with Deanston and I showed the 12 yo and their new Virgin Oak which is matured as usual in amix of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry and then finished in new, unsullied oak. The result is a drier and more assertive version of the 12 yo with a little more chewy tannins, more obvious leather and toffee characters and more spice on the tail. The punters' reaction? Being Scotland, the sweeter 12 yo won out, but quite a number preferred the Virgin Oak, so it wasn't as clear cut as I initially thought that it would be.