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Dewars "Ne Plus Ultra" 12 Years Old (1970s/80s)

Old (but not old) Dewar's

3 283

@talexanderReview by @talexander

5th Aug 2019


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I purchased this one at an LCBO/Waddington's auction - I believe it was bottled in the 1970s / 1980s. Dewar's Ne Plus Ultra expression has usually been much older (I believe 30 years?) but this one is a 12 year old. It's been open for a year or so. Let's try it compared to today's Dewar's 12 Year Old ("The Ancestor") which I had scored an 83.

The colour is a light yellow gold. On the nose we get lots of citrus: grapefruit pith, lemon drops (Lemon Pledge?) and a hint of lime. Rather floral and grassy. Kumquats. Fennel fronds. Water brings out a bit of smoke and lemon pepper. Perhaps a bit too young and citrusy but very pleasant.

Maltier on the palate but the lemon remains (other citrus notes fade away). Fennel but it's the seeds this time. Thin mouthfeel. Creamsicle. Water tames the citrus. Nice but this is becoming a little one-note.

The medium-length finish is bright - the lemon continues with white pepper. It is nice and summery but seems younger than 12 years, and could use a lot more complexity. How does it compare with today's 12 Year Old? The recent bottling is slightly darker in colour, richer than the Ne Plus Ultra though with similar citrus notes. Not necessarily better or worse in my opinion, but different.

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cricklewood commented

Nice review and explains well what you perceive as it's strengths and faults. I really enjoyed being able to try one of these older blends, I was surprised how malty it was compared to some modern releases, although I have not tried a current Dewar's so I wouldn't be able to compare that.

Much thanks for sharing this at the last gathering.

2 years ago 2Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented

@talexander, nice review. Thank you for presenting this whisky at one of our recent epic tastings. I enjoyed this particular blend... a lot....shame it's not available at retail trade.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

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