Yesterday it was The Deveron 12 turn and today it’s the older brother turn, The Deveron 18 Year Old. I had the opportunity to taste an advanced sample of Deveron 18 during Whisky Live Tel-Aviv, directly from visiting Bacardi ambassador Lomond Campbell. Luckily I saved some of it for later and deeper tasting so it made sense to compare the sample to the final commercially released whisky.
As can seen from the picture above there’s a slight color change with the final version boasting a darker shade of color. Of course we can suspect some e150a involvement or go for the reasonable explanation that the final whisky vatting recipe was different. But was it? If so, the smells and taste should be different. Let’s check them.
Deveron 1996 Indicative 18yo (40%, bottled 01/05/14, Sample: 1405125-GB12)
Nose: Creamy, soft yet has some dust and spicy background with pepper, a lot of apples and toffee.
Palate: Apples, vanilla pudding, honey, cream, toffee, hints of spices, oak wood, dry.
Finish: Short medium finish, pudding, apples, oak wood, smooth and dry.
The Deveron 18 Year Old (40%, £54.95/€52,95)
Nose: Very creamy and soft (more than the 1996 sample), apples and toffee, the spiciness is muted comparing to the sample and no dustiness.
Palate: Creamy, green apples, hints of toffee, honey and towards the end some black pepper at the background.
Finish: Short-medium finish, cream, green apples peels, oak wood spices and black pepper sticking to the upper mouth.
Thoughts: Yeah, the final whisky is a bit different. Personally I preferred the indicative sample over the official result. The advanced sample is a bit more rogue and more alive while the final whisky feels more refined and a bit flatter. In fact I think it’s too refined and smooth, making it a bit boring in my book. If I have to choose, I’d take The Deveron 12 over the Deveron 18 Year Old.
(Official sample from Bacardi)