to taste really old whiskies (my gosh, I just insulted myself!) don’t
come along every day, at least not for me. So when a distiller invites me to
review a 37-year-old Scotch, hesitation is out of the question. I may like it,
I may not, but the longer it sits on my bar staring at me, the deeper the
first whisky I purposefully drank was Dewar’s White Label.
I thought Mrs. Whiskeyfellow introduced me to it, but she claims I’m mistaken. Regardless,
I’ve written about this journey and reviewed that flagship whisky last year.
story of John Dewar & Sons began in 1846 with John Dewar, Sr.,
in Perth, Scotland. John founded a wine shop that employed him and ten of his
children. It took 14 years for him to begin blending whisky, and in 1880, two
of his sons, John and Tommy, assumed control of the business. Both were young
but well-experienced in John Sr.’s company and wanted to see it grow
exponentially. At only 16, Tommy took on the marketing manager job, spreading
the good news about Dewar’s whiskies, and eventually traveled the world on a
1891, Andrew Carnegie arranged to send a barrel of Dewar’s to President Benjamin Harrison at the White House. This greatly displeased
American distillers, who felt the president turned his back on their industry. Then,
in 1893, Queen Victoria issued a royal warrant to the Dewars – the first
for a blended Scotch - and business skyrocketed.
didn’t take long for the small distillery to exceed its production capacity,
and in 1898, John established the Aberfeldy
Distillery. Shortly after that, production of its
White Label blended whisky commenced. Tommy was eventually knighted by King Edward VII.
War I broke out, and the distillery was shuttered. It reopened briefly, only to
be closed again due to the declining demand caused by Prohibition in the United
States. In 1925, John Dewar & Sons merged with Distillers Company Ltd
to survive these events. Tommy passed away in 1930. The brand changed hands
several times, and then, in 1980, something amazing happened – Dewar’s outsold J&B,
then the best-selling Scotch brand in the United States.
acquired Distillers in 1986, renamed United Distillers,
and, in 1997, it became Diageo. Bacardi picked up the brand in 1998 and remains its current
I mentioned, I’m sipping on Double
Double 37 Year Old today. It is the first in a limited
series honoring four Scotch whisky-making regions – in this case, it is Speyside.
Double Double 37 is a blended malt whisky.
is known for twice-aging its whiskies. The first round is before anything is
blended; the second after.
Double 37 expanded on that, utilizing Dewar’s four-stage aging system developed
by Master Blender Stephanie
Macleod. It involves aging each of the malt
whiskies separately. Next, those malts are aged in neutral casks – meaning they’re
a step away from retirement. The third stage is marrying the malts and aging
them again. The final is taking the blend and finishing it in sherry casks. In
the case of Double Double 37, Macleod harvested Oloroso casks that previously
held Aultmore, a Speyside single malt.
Double 37 is bottled at 43% ABV (86°) and comes in a 375ml bottle. Included in
the package is a pair of Baccarat Massena crystal tumblers. As you can imagine, a
whisky like this doesn’t come cheap – its suggested price is $1799.00.
How’s this rare Blended Malt taste? You know how this works – we #DrinkCurious. But first, I must thank John Dewar & Sons for providing me with this opportunity – all that was asked was for me to provide my no-strings-attached, honest review.
last thing – I promise. Something I’ve learned about rating pricy whisky is to leave the
value statement off of the rating. The pool of available buyers is minuscule as
many cannot afford them (you can include me in that group).
sipped this Scotch neat after pouring it into my Glencairn glass. As much as I
tried to get the bronze-colored liquid to produce a rim, I failed. The lightning-fast
tears fell before one could form.
smelled honey-roasted nuts, raisins, stewed peaches, and cinnamon. Drawing the
vapor into my mouth introduced a taste of cinnamon apples.
whisky’s texture was silky and weighty. Double Double 37 was a fruit-bomb on my
palate. It started with stewed peaches, baked apples, and oranges on the front,
while the middle featured raisins, apricots, and honey. Flavors of spiced nuts,
vanilla cream, and dry oak were on the back.
Finish: Most of
its fruity flavors dissipated quickly, but the honey, spiced nuts, and oak
tannins remained. The oak lasted the longest, hanging on for more than a
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Double
Double 37 Year Old is in its own universe. That’s due to various things,
including a lack of grain whiskies, the Oloroso cask finish, and that extended
aging. If I had the entire package, the Baccarat glasses would likely sit on a
shelf, never to be used. But the whisky is a different story. I plowed through
my sample, not allowing a drop to be wasted. Sipping it was an experience
and one to be savored.
Am I a believer in Macleod’s
four-stage aging process? I can’t answer that. However, I am sold on the quality
of this Blended Malt whisky she put together. Even folks who “only drink
single malts” should enjoy this blend. Double Double 37 Year Old is an easy Bottle
My Simple, Easy-to-Understand
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.