Dewar's is the flagship blend for Bacardi's clutch of scotch whisky distilleries, which include Royal Brackla, Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie, and Macduff. While there have been efforts over the last few years to raise the profile of its malts, the core of their business is still in their blends.
This whisky is bottled at 40% with coloring and chill filtration.
Dewar's 12 Year the Ancestor
Nose: a lot of grain whisky, wheat bread, creamy malt, distant sherry notes, dirty lemons, a little bit of funk, pine, and herbal character, a touch of floral vanilla. After adding a few drops of water it becomes even more dominated by the grain component, but more vanilla comes out.
Taste: rounded grain and malt sweetness with a sherry overlay up front, something floral around the middle, becomes grainier with continued flashes of sherry and sulfurous funk towards the back, very little oak. After dilution the grain becomes dominant but more sherry comes out.
Finish: lingering grain and earthy notes with creamy floral overtones
Wow, that's a lot of grain whisky. While there are bits and pieces of something interesting in this whisky, much of which I'm inclined to ascribe to Craigellachie, the grain whisky muscles almost everything else aside. It's not bad, but there's very little to make me recommend this, even as a cheap blend. It's pretty much a toss-up if you're choosing between this and Chivas Regal 12 Year, but I might give a slight nod to the latter. Something like Cutty Sark Prohibition is about the same price and offers significantly more robust flavors, if you need a cheaper blended whisky.