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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Dewar’s Excellent New 37 Year Old Blended Malt Whisky – Robb Report


Consider the humble blend, which after all is the backbone of the scotch whisky industry. Blended scotch outsells single malt by a wide margin, despite the attention and reverence the latter is given by most whisky drinkers. There are many subpar examples, but there are also some truly excellent expressions available to try, and this new (and very expensive) 37-year-old from Dewar’s definitely falls into the latter category.

Experienced whiskey drinkers probably don’t drink Dewar’s White Label very much, or regular Jim Beam or Jack Daniel’s either for that matter. But that doesn’t mean that these are bad whiskeys. In fact, Dewar’s White Label has acted as a gateway dram for many people—this writer included—introducing the flavors of scotch whisky to a novice palate before moving onto stronger and more complex expressions. While White Label might not be the bottle you open at home to celebrate a special occasion, it’s still a great airport or hotel bar sipper, and its unchallenging, familiar, and slightly sweet flavor can make for a lovely nostalgic experience. The key to the flavor profile of this particular blended scotch (meaning a blend of malt and grain whiskies from different distilleries) is that it is “double aged,” as the brand puts it. That simply means that the whisky is matured in barrels, blended, and then aged in another set of casks to allow the liquid to marry together and achieve full flavor.

The new 37-year-old from Dewar’s is a luxury version of this, part of the brand’s “Double Double” series. Unlike White Label this whisky is a blended malt, meaning there is no grain whisky in the blend. The liquid undergoes a four-stage maturation process created by master distiller Stephanie Macleod—first the malt whiskies are aged in casks for 37 years; these whiskies are blended and put into casks to marry for a month; the blended malt is then further blended with Double Double 36 which is now 37 years old after being finished in madeira barrels for a year. After the liquid is married together for a month, the whisky is put into Oloroso sherry casks which were previously used to age Aultmore single malt whisky.

And there you have it—Dewar’s 37, the oldest whisky to date from this historic brand. And it’s a tasty one that any serious single malt drinker should try. Given the age of this whisky, you might expect oak and tropical fruit notes to dominate, but that’s not the case here. The palate is delicate, with strong leather, vanilla, ripe berry, and apple notes. There’s a bit of chocolate, espresso, orange, and citrus as well, and the finish brings the fortified wine cask influence into play with dark chocolate and spice flavors.

The single malts that go into the Dewar’s blend are all quite good on their own—these include Aberfeldy (the home of Dewar’s), Craigellachie, Aultmore, and Royal Brackla. Combine all or some of these together, along with whiskies from other regions and distilleries, and in the case of Dewar’s 37 Year Old the sum is greater than its parts. It’s not cheap at $1,800 per bottle, but that does include a pair of fancy Baccarat tumblers to enjoy it in. Give this whisky a try to see what nearly four decades of aging in different types of barrels brings to the palate, and you might just start to look at blends a little bit differently.

Score: 93

  • 100: Worth trading your first born for
  • 95 – 99 In the Pantheon: A trophy for the cabinet
  • 90 – 94 Great: An excited nod from friends when you pour them a dram 
  • 85 – 89 Very Good: Delicious enough to buy, but not quite special enough to chase on the secondary market
  • 80 – 84 Good: More of your everyday drinker, solid and reliable
  • Below 80 It’s alright: Honestly, we probably won’t waste your time and ours with this

Every week Jonah Flicker tastes the most buzzworthy and interesting whiskeys in the world. Check back each Friday for his latest review.





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