By Father John Rayls
Sir Edwin Landseer created an oil painting known as “The Monarch of the Glen” in 1851. It was extremely popular through the 1800’s and was purchased by John Dewar & Sons in 1919. The very gifted Master Blender, Stephanie Macleod, used the painting many decades later as inspiration for Dewar’s 15 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky. It is a blend of rare vintage single malt and single grain whiskies. In 1846, John Dewar began sourcing and blending Scotch Whisky and bottling it with his own name on the label. By the early 1900’s, it had become an international sensation and today is still the best selling Scotch Whisky in the United States. Dewar mastered the art of blending up to 40 whiskies to achieve his unique flavor profile. This Scotch Whisky is a blend of whiskies that are all at least 15 years old and were matured in various oak casks including those used for sherry and bourbon. The primary whisky in this blend is a 27 Year Old Single Malt distilled by the Aberfeldy Distillery. After blending, they are again returned to vintage casks to allow more aging for several additional months. The Dewar’s 15 Year Old Scotch at 80 Proof adds to the Dewar’s Premium and Super Premium line along with the 12 Year Old and 18 Year Old.
The scotch has a beautiful light, muddy copper color in the glass. The highlights were white and polished brass. The legs appeared a little thinner than in the 12 Year Old and were readily apparent. The nose was subtle. The sherry cask influence was present with aromas of malt, honey, oak, floral and light fruit and very light smoke. There was some slight nose burn present. I sampled this whisky in both a Glencairn glass and a more traditional whisky glass with a larger opening. I was quickly reminded of why I prefer the Glencairn glass. The aromas were much more concentrated with a more narrow opening. It’s even more important when sampling a whisky with a more subtle nose.
The mouthfeel was creamy and soft. Most of the mouth action was from mid palette towards the back. I found the flavor profile to be very subtle as well with light notes of floral and oak. The finish is short to medium in length and continues the overall feel of softness with some warming at the very back of the mouth with light vanilla and oak..
Because Dewar’s is the most popular scotch in America, it’s available almost everywhere and the prices are all over the map. However, you should find most pricing between $45.00 and $60.00. Dewar’s 15 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky is an easy sipping whisky both neat and with water or ice. It is also very suitable for scotch based cocktails. After trying bottles of the 12 Year Old and the 15 Year Old, I’m now anxious to get my hands on the 18 Year Old Scotch from Dewar’s.