By Father John Rayls
Rating B +
Because I’m primarily a bourbon drinker, my palette is pretty open minded and I can tolerate a fairly wide spectrum of bourbon offerings even off the bottom shelf. However, scotch is a much different scenario. My desired field of vision is much more narrow. I enjoy scotch, but I don’t want to drink scotch that I don’t like. Even though I hadn’t tasted Dewar’s, I knew I didn’t need to because I was convinced it was one of those lower cost offerings that just wouldn’t work for me. I certainly had no problem with others enjoying this scotch whisky, but I would just keep looking elsewhere. Recently, the company was kind enough to send me a bottle of 80 Proof Dewar’s 12 Year Old Blended Scotch “The Ancestor”. I don’t want to say I felt the earth move (Carole King) under my feet. It wasn’t a major epiphany. However, I did discover a very enjoyable lower cost scotch whisky (and it’s blended!). The company was founded in 1846, but 1899 brought a new perspective to Dewar’s on the aging process. Another aging step was added after the original aging and blending. The scotch is returned to vintage oak casks for more resting time before bottling. The award winning results are found in the exceptional smoothness accompanied by the lengthy finish. The entry level “White Label” is the best known product of Dewar’s, but they are now producing premium and even super premium offerings.
The appearance has colors of dark gold, light brown and some faint reddish tints. There are copper highlights as the light passes through and reflects off of the whisky. The legs are reluctant but steady once they get started creating some interesting expectations. The nose is a very pleasant surprise. It’s medium to somewhat aggressive in nature without any alcohol burn. It’s filled with sweet oak, fruit and accompanied by a nice floral compliment. It is often experienced with some slight tingling making this a very inviting part of this whisky experience.
Matching the reluctant, long slow legs, there is a nice creamy mouthfeel with a subtle to medium intensity on the palette. It occurs primarily from mid-tongue and back including the roof of the mouth. The flavors are a warm honey, oak and faint spiciness with light smoke. The finish is medium to long and continues with a sweet malt presence while transitioning to a soft pepper and slight smoke even out to the front of the mouth including the lips. This a well balanced scotch whisky that makes for easy sipping neat. I’m sure it would be a very good mixer as well, but I enjoyed it too much to not continue sipping it neat. No water or ice is needed to fully enjoy the 12 year old.
Dewar’s 12 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky “The Ancestor” is readily available across the country in the neighborhood of $27.00 to $35.00. This should be easily within all whisky consumers’ budgets and well worth the effort. This offering from Dewar’s presents an opportunity to enjoy an aged and balanced scotch whisky without breaking the bank.