If you are still skeptical of the superiority of blended whiskies, Dewar’s 25 may end the argument.
Billed as the first new product with the Dewar’s name since 2014, this 25-year-old blend combines whisky from the company’s many single malt distilleries, including Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie, Glen Deveron, and Royal Brackla. You may have tasted those separately, and we’ve covered several of them in the past.
But while they’re all under the same flag, Dewar’s is, historically, a blended whisky, meaning that both single malts and single grains from multiple distilleries can be used to create the final product.
Blending tends to be a four-letter word among whisky lovers, who see the process as a way to hide or disguise defects via dilution. But honestly, that method of blending went out of style 30 years ago. Today, blending is a necessary part of just about every great bottle you enjoy. Dewar’s has simply put the last nail in that argument’s coffin.
Normally with a quarter century of age, you’d expect a dry, oak-heavy whisky tasting of freshly hewn wood and pipe tobacco, but there’s some surprising vibrancy left in this bottle.
Its spice is mellowed by age, but a caramel (the Brits sometimes describe it as honey) and sherry sweetness remain from the previous lives of its barrels. It’s a surprisingly mellow and full whisky that would impress a lot of single malt devotees.
What is equally impressive about this whisky is the public proclamation of its age. Dewar’s 25 actually replaces a well-beloved product called Dewar’s Signature, which did not contain an age statement. In the last decade most Scotch distilleries have distanced themselves from age statements, rarely releasing new products and, in fact, taking existing ones off of shelves. For Dewar’s to release something this old and plan to keep it on shelves without interruption is bold.
For $225, it’s for celebration and for showing your whisky neophyte friends a good time without any of the condescending macho banter that tends to ruin a good time around a collection. It hits shelves this month, and there are plenty of worse whiskies with which to welcome fall.