Dewar's 18 Years Review


“Mr. Pleasant”

Whisky Review # 629
Country: Scotland
Brand: Dewar's The Vintage
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Blended by: John Dewar's & Sons Ltd. (Bacardi Group)
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: American Oak Bourbon Casks.     
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 55-80 (August 2017) 
Buying Advice: 😉 Nice, very Soft Blend. Safe buy at 50/60 US Dollars. 

Colour: Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Relatively Light and Soft for an 18 Years Old. Sweet, quite Dry, Malty and Floral. The Grain Alcohol is noticeable but not in the pungent way you often find in bottom shelf blends. I find Sweet Grain, Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Hay, Heather-Honey, Toffee, Raisins covered in Milk Chocolate, Roasted Almonds, Warm Apple with Vanilla Sauce, Dirt Road, light Citrus, light Spices, Toasted Oak, Salt and hints of Green Coffee Beans and Brown Sugar. The Alcohol is not fully integrated but inoffensive.

Tasting at Aberfeldy May 2017

Palate: Sweet and Creamy, the latter despite the low ABV. I find Cereals, Sweet Barley, Straw, Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Caramel, Toasted - and Salted Almonds, Stewed Apples, Orange Zest, Toasted Oak, Marzipan, Pepper and Cinnamon. I constantly perceive a very light hint of Smoke throughout the Tasting session. On the Nose and in the Finish it's more like Oak Char but on the Palate it's a bit more than that. Am I dreaming?

Finish: Creamy and slightly Edgy at the same time. The Grain Alcohol is more noticeable by now. The Finish is Middle-Long and mostly Sweet with Cereals, Heather-Honey, Straw, Grass, Vanilla, Caramel, Marzipan, Toasted - and Salted Almonds, Toasted Oak, Red Apples, Pepper, Cinnamon and Cardamom. After a while I get Maraschino Cherries as well.

Tasting at Aberfeldy May 2017

Drinking Advice
:

I added a little Water and the Dewar's 18 years becomes even softer. I get some Fruitcake on the Palate and additional Floral notes as well. The Finish completely disappears however. You can very carefully experiment with a few drops. 

Rating: 83      

Nose: 21 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 21

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General Remarks:

John Dewar founded  his business in 1864 in Perth and was one of the first pioneers of blending Single Malt - and Grain Whiskies. His son John Alexander succeeded him and appointed A.J. Cameron as Master Blender. The latter introduced the technique of allowing the Single Malts and Single Grains to marry together in Vintage Oak casks thus producing a smooth and harmonious end product. The 18 years was produced this way as well. The whiskies that are part of this Blend initially matured in American Oak Bourbon casks for 18 years. They were then blended and married together for around 6 months in Vintage Oak casks. The 18 Years is composed of around 40 whiskies and include Single Malts from the Highlands and Speyside as well as Lowland Grain Whiskies. At its heart lies the Aberfeldy distillery but I'm sure it also contains Malt Whisky from Aultmore, Craigellachie, MacDuff and Royal Brackla as they are all part of the Bacardi Group. Packaging and Bottle are really nice. 

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Good

Conclusion:

The Dewar's 18 Years is a nice and soft Blend. Only in the Finish does the Grain Alcohol become more present. I like the Aroma and Flavor profile although it's pretty Mainstream and I really wonder how good this Blend would be when matured in first class casks and bottled at 46%. It could easily compete with lots of today's Middle of the Road Single Malts. As it stands it's still a nice Blend that you can enjoy either Neat or with a little Ice. Newbies will love it. More accomplished Whisky drinkers might find it slightly boring though. The price varies a lot depending on where you live but at around 60 US Dollars it's a safe buy. I would not spend a whole lot more though. It's also available in the Duty Free Shops in 1 Liter bottles.

Jan van den Ende                                                                   August 2, 2017

Visit Aberfeldy May 2017

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