So the holidays are behind us. And as we look back on the holidays, each moment, meal or gift has the potential to leave a lasting memory that we can hold with us for years to come. When I look back on 2011, I’d be remiss if I don’t have fond memories of a bottle of Dewar’s 12-year-old Scotch whiskey.
As if getting booze as a holiday gift wasn’t good enough (say goodbye to the old days of gifting a “holiday five pack” of Heineken), this version of Dewar’s only let down as a gift under the Christmas tree was that upon opening the bottle, there was no holiday jingle to express the cheer of the greatness that was about to commence.
That said, I put my favorite holiday tune in my mind, “Little Drummer Boy” (you’re more than welcome to replace that tune for “O Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Bells” or whatever jam tickles your fancy), and poured a healthy shot into my gift-set shot glass (which I washed beforehand, of course).
It had been a while since I last tasted Dewar’s. Since then – probably six or eight years back – my taste buds have evolved. But so has Dewar’s. They have the White Label, the Signature and 18-year-old to go along with the 12-year-old Scotch whiskey. Upon my first sip of the Dewar’s 12-year-old Scotch whiskey, two characteristics stood out: the sweet vanilla notes and smooth finish. My reaction, in a word: “Wow!”
I didn’t remember Dewar’s to be so welcoming. It was like walking into your parents’ home for the holidays after not seeing them for months – a warm embrace with a bold hug, firm smile and glimmer in their eyes. You can’t beat that. Dewar’s replicated that emotion in their 12-year-old Scotch whiskey and attributed it to their double-aged process.
According to the Dewar’s website, the double-ageing process allows the blended Scotch whiskey to mature a little more in its vintage oak casks, allowing the flavors to hang out and create that smooth, lingering finish.
If you take a peak at the tasting notes mentioned on the page, you will notice there is a lot put into this spirit. John Dewar and Sons Ltd hasn’t been around since 1846 for nothing. Among the notes you will find in Dewar’s 12-year-old are honey, homemade toffee apples, fresh citrus and caramel.
It’s wonderfully wonderful. Perhaps I was too young for my first experience with Dewar’s. Back then, I needed a chaser just to drink Dewar’s. Not for the 12-year-old. That’s smooth, you can enjoy it on its own, and not even make that face you often see people make when sipping a high-proof alcohol (Dewar’s 12-year-old is 80 proof or 40 percent alcohol). The only faces I’ve made since sipping on my 12-year-old have been a) pleasantly surprised with head nod; and b) smile.
Dewar’s 12-year-old. A chaser-free cocktail. I’d even go as far to say adding rocks to this drink will take away from the luxuriousness that it is. It’s so good, the only cocktail option you’ll find for Dewar’s 12-year-old on their website is to add a splash of water to “open up its fruity honey flavors.” Basically, don’t mess with this spirit. It’s perfectly good on its own.
Like it? Hate it? Love it? Let me know. I’m sure you’ll be pleased though.