Generally speaking, blended Scotch doesn’t get as much respect as single malt, which is often perceived as a less sophisticated and complex style of whisky. But that’s not really an accurate assessment of the wide and varied world of blended malts. There’s a great deal of diversity within the category, and there are some excellent, mature blends that should not be ignored.
Case in point: The newest player in the world of high-end blended malts is Dewar’s 25 Years Old ($225). Starting in October, it will be available as a travel retail exclusive, but it will eventually roll out in select domestic markets around the country.
For a quarter-century-old whisky, oak doesn’t dominate the flavor as much as you might think. A nice dry spice gives you a friendly bite on the nose, while ghosts of sherry casks, cherry, and caramel pop on the palate.
This is a blend that can stand up to your favorite single malt; perhaps this has something to do with the double aging and extra maturation the whisky undergoes. Malt and grain whiskies at least 25 years old were selected and then married together and put into oak casks, a step that Dewar’s believes mellows the blend even further. Finally, the whisky was finished in Royal Brackla casks for an unspecified period of time. The final result is an 80-proof blended malt that doesn’t need any ice—although a splash of water really opens it up. If you’ve been shying away from blends, Dewar’s 25 Years Old is a good reason to give it another try.