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Dewar's 12 Year Old The Ancestor Double Aged

The Ancestor, Apparently

1 883

@talexanderReview by @talexander

23rd Aug 2016

0

  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    21
  • Finish
    19
  • Balance
    20
  • Overall
    83

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I'm amazed I've never reviewed any Dewar's here, but then again I've only really had the 18 Year Old (at a bar in NYC) and the Signature (at Whisky Live in Toronto one year). I've never even tried the ubiquitous White Lable. Oh, and I did review Aberfeldy 12 Year Old, which is the heart of Dewar's and where you can find the Dewar World of Whisky visitor centre at their distillery (I've never been).

Besides Aberfeldy, Dewar's also has Aultmore, Craigellachie, Royal Brackla and Macduff, among others I am sure. John Dewar started the business in 1846 and would marry the blended whiskies in oak to better integrate the flavours, which wasn't really done at that time. Dewar's has a Royal Warrant (supplying the monarchy with the booze for over 100 years) and was bought by Bacardi in 1988, who have done a good job of rebranding the whiskies in their stable. The 12 Year Old is now called "The Ancestor", apparently after John Dewar; and no, I don't understand that either. This bottle was a birthday present from my brother, and has been open for about 3 months.

The colour is honey-gold. On the nose this is quite fruity, with orange, kiwi, papaya, lime and peach, all intermingling. Burnt toffee. Exotic spices like tumeric and saffron, and the faintest hint of peat. With water the citrus brightens up, and the peat steps forward a bit. Very nice.

On the palate, more orange shows up (and a bit more peat) but it's mostly caramel and citrus, with some baking spices (nutmeg, cinnamon). Water helps keep everything integrated. Not bad but not as complex as the nose.

The long finish is spicy with anise, followed by bitter oak and dried fruit. For me, the nose is the highlight, and becomes a bit of a letdown by the time the finish arrives. Still, not a bad premium scotch at the right price point.

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8 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

Birthday presents from siblings are good things. That's probably the sort of way I would wind up with Dewars 12 too.

Thanks for your review. Looks interesting in a fruity way prior to a bitter-cum-licorice finish. Seems like I've seen a few blended Scotches which have this sort of evolution you describe, including some ancient Chivas Regal 12 yo I have on hand.

2 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Interesting - I too have an old Chivas 12 (bottled I think in the 1980s but I'm not 100% sure). I haven't reviewed it yet as I was waiting to do a side-by-side of the current bottling. I have tasted it though - like the Dewar's 12, good but not great.

2 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Yes, @talexander, it is good that some of us are willing to review blended Scotch. Considering the huge numbers of them on the market, more reviews of them would be helpful.

After The Ancestor, what do we see? The Heir, The Step-Child, and The Bastard? Dewars White Label can be the Step-Child. The Step-Child can be really good or really bad, depending on the individual (batch). Most of the recently born Step-Children seem to be not-so-good, but I did meet a good one once.

2 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Ha - if I had tasted White Label, I might be able to come up with some appropriate name....for the record, their current branding labels their 15yo as "The Monarch" and the 18 as "The Vintage". Ahhh, marketing....well, it's better than the stripper Macallans.

2 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Dewars White Label is just waiting for you!

2 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Bah - it can keep waiting...from what I've read, it's not too impressive, so unless I come across a bottle from the 1980s or earlier, I'll skip it until someone buys me a drink...

2 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

That's a good plan...or a sample from someone's bottle.

But, if you try it from an older bottle and review it be sure that people don't expect that that's the way it tastes from recently released batches.

2 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

As usual, if I review an older bottle, I'll do it side-by-side with the recent bottling to highlight the differences.

2 years ago 0

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