The brand new Dewar’s 12 yr outdated now receives its secondary maturation in first-fill bourbon barrels, accentuating the whisky’s vanilla and toffee notes.
The storied Dewar’s mix has lengthy been among the many extra conventional scotch whisky labels, however that state of affairs has modified lately. The shift began with the introduction of its ultra-aged 21, 27, and 32 yr outdated Double Double releases again in 2019, which had been adopted by the launch of the Dewar’s Cask Collection in that very same yr. The primary launch in that collection was Dewar’s Caribbean Clean, completed in rum casks, and Dewar’s has since added finishes in mezcal, port, mizunara oak and calvados casks. Now Dewar’s has turned its efforts towards a refresh of Dewar’s 12 yr outdated.
The method for Dewar’s 12 yr outdated has all the time began with a mix of 40 aged single malt and grain whiskies aged in a mix of refill casks, first-fill bourbon casks, and sherry casks, and that continues to be the case. However in its newly remastered model, the ultimate mix has been aged for about 3 months in first-fill bourbon casks, a change that has amped up the vanilla flavors and toffee sweetness that lie at Dewar’s coronary heart. “We haven’t modified the [liquid] recipe—that’s precisely the identical,” emphasizes grasp blender Stephanie Macleod.
Beforehand, the secondary getting older stage for Dewar’s 12 yr outdated intentionally happened in oak that added little discernible wooden affect or additional maturation complexity. “In years passed by, we had a marrying warehouse the place we had nice large butts with a hose getting into and a hose going out,” Macleod describes. “These [vessels] had been on the go for years, they usually helped to carry all the weather of the mix collectively and permit them to get to know one another.”
The concept of introducing ending to the mix in bourbon casks originated from Macleod’s work on the Dewar’s 19 yr outdated Championship Version 2021, which concerned first-fill bourbon cask ending. “We received these pretty smooth vanilla and toffee notes, and I assumed that if we are able to do it there, why don’t we do it with Dewar’s 12 [year old]?” says Macleod. She was pleasantly stunned at how a lot the bourbon casks influenced the flavors of the 12 yr outdated. “We’ve amplified these toffee and vanilla notes—the sweeter notes, the creaminess of the whisky—and introduced them to life,” Macleod provides. “The whisky is extra unctuous, it’s chewier. On the palate, you’re feeling such as you’ve actually received one thing.”
Dedicating first-fill bourbon casks for double-aging a whisky on the dimensions of Dewar’s 12 yr outdated actually has added to manufacturing prices, however Dewar’s is holding the road on pricing, preserving it at $30. Although nobody is saying for positive, the bourbon casks might come from Kentucky distiller Angel’s Envy, a sister firm that, like Dewar’s, is owned by drinks multinational Bacardi Ltd.
This transfer is in step with different current improvements within the Dewar’s vary, which have all been concerning the whisky and its style profile. From the Dewar’s Cask Collection that finishes an 8 yr outdated mix with casks from consuming cultures in several components of the world to the ending on the annual Open Championship bottling and the getting older pedigree of its Double Double collection, the improvements are all targeted on taste. “That’s very a lot what Dewar’s is about,” says Macleod. “We wish to discover, to research. We wish to present that blends are tough to make—that there’s complexity, and that you simply’ll discover one thing totally different each time you return to a Dewar’s mix.”
Whereas Macleod says there are not any imminent plans to vary the 15 and 18 yr outdated blends, there’s a way that that is the beginning of a brand new part for Dewar’s. The corporate’s plan to construct a brand new artistic hub on the Dewar’s campus in Glasgow is a sign of extra to return. “We’re going to take a look at all features of the method, what can we do to make (the whiskies) higher, and how one can make them totally different,” she provides.
Search for the complete assessment of the brand new Dewar’s 12 yr outdated within the Fall challenge of Whisky Advocate, however in the meantime, learn preliminary tasting notes by Jonny McCormick, contributing editor and lead reviewer for blended scotch whisky. And above, hear from Macleod herself concerning the new whisky.
Dewar’s 12 yr outdated, 40% ABV, $30
Vibrant aromas of honey, caramel, dried apricot and apple slices, blended peel, malt, roasted spices, wealthy vanilla, and an imprint of woodsmoke. Silky easy flavors of honey, heat citrus, black pepper, darkish chocolate, and a lick of smoke are adopted by vanilla, burnt toffee, black cherry, espresso, and smooth oak. The end presents milk chocolate and hazelnut latte.