Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #93

Dewar's 12 yo Special Reserve
Blended Scotch Whisky

43% abv

If James Buchanan was a marketing gentleman back in the 19th century, Tommy Dewar was a marketing maverick.
He innovated the style of using romantic Scottish images of tartans and bagpipes in the marketing of their blends. Dewar's was the first whisky to be advertised by an electric sign, a giant kilted Scotsman raising a dram positioned at the south side of the Thames at Waterloo bridge. It was the largest of its day. Like Buchanan, he also took to thoroughbred breeding and horse racing and became one of the first people to own a motorcar. Additionally, he created one of the first ever commercials, a cinema advertisement, 'moving pictures' that had a Scotsman doing a jig with the words, "Dewar's--Its Scotch". More on advertisting tomorrow.

In 1915 John Dewar and James Buchanan became partners and it made perfect sense: Tommy Dewar and Jimmy Buchanan had been working in parallel for so many years, with such great energy, to promote not only their brands, but to build the social acceptability of Scotch whisky and blends in particular.

More on Dewars at the Whisky Pages. And
other Dewar's tasted in the mission, HERE.

This is a blend I have been lucky enough to try once or twice because at UK duty free stores they sell two 1L bottles for £30.


Fruity and vibrant with grainy sweetness, wheatabix, sugary breakfast cereal, apples and pears, some kind of cleaning agent or varnish. A little smoke comes out with time as well as some citrus.

A chocolate and coffee start that opens up to firm, oaky grain in balance against toasty(smoky?) malt and sherry. The finish is glassy, a little salty, and not well bound, if you know what I mean; flavours are distinct and separate, esp some of the flatter grains.


Overall, a completely pleasant blend, and 2 x 1L bottles for £30 at UK Duty Free is worth every penny. One ice cube or something just might help by silencing the some of the more dull grains and allow the hearty cereal notes and cask toastiness to rise above.

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