Life is sometimes like a big circle. There’s no real beginning, middle, or end; it is just continuous. Today I’m going way, way back in time.
My whisky journey began as a random choice of spirits. I wasn’t a drinker of alcoholic spirits. My wife suggested that I find something – anything – that I could sip on just to be social. There were two things I knew I didn’t care for: tequila and gin. I was not too fond of the smell of either, let alone the taste.
In a desire to appear sophisticated, I opted for Scotch. While I wanted to appear as such, my wallet had different ideas. As a friend described things, you have champagne tastes on a beer budget. I don’t quite remember how the actual selection happened, but I think it was Mrs. Whiskeyfellow who handed me a 200ml bottle of Dewar’s White Label (since publishing this, Mrs. Whiskeyfellow says it was not her that got me to try Dewar's).
I cycled between Dewar’s and Chivas Regal for about a year before I opted to delve deeper, and once I did that, I never tried Dewar’s White Label again; until today.
Dewar’s began in 1846 when John Dewar and his two sons, who were wine merchants, purchased whiskies and blended them for their store brand. In 1896, the Aberfeldy Distillery was built so the Dewars could make their own whisky. Dewar’s has changed hands a few times and is currently owned by Bacardi.
Dewar’s White Label is still a blended Scotch, but it blends differently from most brands. Instead of blending grains and malts and then aging the blended whisky, Dewar’s selects over 40 different mature single malts from around Scotland (with a large portion from Aberfeldy) and marries them to form its concoction.
White Label carries no age statement; it is chill-filtered and offers no mention of e150a coloring. You can find this pretty much everywhere from the corner convenience to a full-blown liquor store and should expect to pay about $24.99 for a 750ml package.
This will be an exciting review because I honestly can’t remember how it tasted. I’ll #DrinkCurious and find out what made me stick with it for such a long time.
Appearance: In my Glencairn glass, Dewar’s White Label presented as the color of straw. It formed a thicker rim and watery legs that raced down the wall of the glass.
Nose: Orchard fruits such as peach, apple, and citrus greeted my nostrils. Beneath those were honey, vanilla, and a hint of ethanol. When I pulled the air into my mouth, there was a blast of tangerine.
Palate: This Scotch had a watery mouthfeel. Vanilla and honey were on the front, caramel was on the middle (although challenging to find), and the back had flavors of lemon curd combined with char.
Finish: The lemon and char remained through the finish and included vanilla, black pepper, and slightly bitter quality. It was medium in length.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I have to be honest. I was a bit concerned I would hate this. Dewar’s White Label isn’t the best whisky, it won’t blow your doors off, but it isn’t unpleasant. It is basic and unassuming. It was probably a good idea to use this as my toe-dip into Scotch all those years ago because there is enough to make things interesting without some of the overpowering qualities that can turn off novices. It could almost be mistaken for a lower-end Irish whiskey on a different day, which is likely why I initially found this appealing. The price is undoubtedly easy. For those curious about Scotch, this will be a Bottle, and for the more experienced whisky drinker, a Bar. 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 do so responsibly.