Deanston distillery

Deanston is an exciting whisky distillery in the central Highlands of Scotland. The house style can be described as nutty, honey-sweet and non-smoky. The distillery offers a wide range of excellent whiskies. The 12 year old or their red wine casks make excellent entry points.

Deanston Whisky

Deanston Distillery Co. Ltd. located in the southern Highlands, is not far from Stirling. It is one of the younger Scotch Whisky producers in Scotland. In 1965 Deanston was built in a former industrial complex that was previously a cotton mill.

The following year production of malt whisky began, which first hit the market under the name Old Bannockburn in 1971. It was was sold to Invergordon Distillers owners of the Northern Highlands Grain Distillery in 1792. They bought out their first single malt whisky in 1974, the first bottlings to carry the Deanston name on the label.

House Style

What does Deanston single malt taste like?The single malt from this distillery generally tastes light, nutty and clearly malty-sweet. It is somewhat reminiscent of a Lowland malt.


How is Deanston whisky produced?The distillery produces up to 3,000,000 liters a year in four stills. The wash stills required for this each hold 10,000 liters, the spirit still each hold 8,500 liters. The stills are heated with steam. The water for the Deanston comes from the Teith River, which is of excellent quality. The malt for production is purchased externally. The electricity needed for the distillery is produced in its own hydropower plant a few miles from the distillery on the River Teith.


In 1785 the Deanston Mill was built in the immediate vicinity of the fast flowing river, the River Teith. The mill was operated until 1964. In the same year, the large building complex was bought by Brodie Hepburn, who had Deanston converted into a pure-bred malt Scotch whisky distillery. The traditional mill was carefully rebuilt so that it could accommodate the equipment needed for the distillery. Parts of this remarkable ensemble of buildings designed by the architect Sir Richard Arkwright are now listed buildings.

In 1972 Deanston was bought by Invergordon Distillers and developed splendidly for several years. In the ’80s however, the tide turned and Deanston went through a severe crisis, which led to the distillery being closed in 1982. It wasn’t until 1991, after Burn Stewart Distillers took over the distillery for £ 2.1m a year earlier, that production started up again.

Deanston factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Deanston deen*stun Highlands Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 1785 - Present Malt Deanston Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Ian Macmillan CL Financial

Deanston Timeline:

1965-66: Converted from a cotton-mill by the Deanston Distillery Co. Ltd., subsidiary of James Finlay & Co. Ltd. This mill was built in 1784 or 1785 and designed by Richard Arkwright, the inventor of the "Spinning Jenny" and one of the fathers of the Industrial Revolution. In the early 1960s the mill was closed and converted into a distillery in 1965-1966, inspired by Brodie Hepburn, a well-known figure in the industry. Three very solid floors had to be removed to install four stills. The buildings were designed to maintain a constant temperature and humidity, so ideal for maturing whisky. The power source of the mill, the River Teith, is in use as water supply (Brodie Hepburn Ltd. mentioned as well that built together with James Finlay & Co. Ltd. the distillery)

1966-Oct: Production starts

1970s: Flourishing times

1971: The first single malt, named Old Bannockburn, is being released

1972: Sold to Invergordon Distillers (Holdings) Ltd.. Four stills, dark-grains plant

1974: The first single malt, named Deanston, is being produced

1982-90: Distillery closes while owned by Invergordon Distillers (Holdings) Ltd.

1990: Sold for £2.1 million to and reopened by Burn Stewart & Co. plc, from Glasgow, by Invergordon Distillers (1991 mentioned as well)

1991: Production resumes

1999: C.L. Financial buys 18% of the stakes of Burn Stewart & Co. plc

2002: C.L. Financial buys the remainder of the stakes of Burn Stewart & Co. plc