Dewar's Double Double 37 Year Old Blended Malt Scotch Whisky Review & Tasting Notes


Opportunities 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 anticipation.


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.


The 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 two-year journey!


In 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.


It 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.


World 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.


Guinness acquired Distillers in 1986, renamed United Distillers, and, in 1997, it became Diageo. Bacardi picked up the brand in 1998 and remains its current owner.


As 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.


Dewar’s is known for twice-aging its whiskies. The first round is before anything is blended; the second after.


Double 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 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.


One 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).


Appearance: I 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.


Nose: I smelled honey-roasted nuts, raisins, stewed peaches, and cinnamon. Drawing the vapor into my mouth introduced a taste of cinnamon apples.


Palate: This 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 minute.


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 rating. Cheers!


My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.