The Last Great Malts

Bottle shots courtesy of Dewar's.

Bottle shots courtesy of Dewar’s.

Dewar’s recently released a series of single malts collectively referred to as The Last Great Malts.  These include Aberfeldy, The Deveron, Aultmore, Royal Brackla, and Craigellachie.  These single malts are among those used in the Dewar’s blend.   To commemorate these releases, Dewar’s has released a short promo video featuring heavy hitters Dave Broom and Charles Maclean.

I’m tasting all except Craigellachie (which I hope to get to soon).  All single malts are 12 years old and are bottled at 40% except for Aultmore, which is bottled at 46%.

ABERFELDY 12-YEAR-OLD

At the heart of Dewar’s lies Aberfeldy.  It’s what that blend is built around.  Right off the bat, you immediately notice that familiar Dewar’s nose.  Light floral aromas intermingle with rich honey, stewed pear and vanilla on the nose.  There’s just a hint of tropical fruit on the backend that becomes more apparent with a little time in the glass.  The whisky offers a slightly heavy mouthfeel while delivering delicate notes of toffee, light spiced honey, green pear, and a touch of oak.  The finish offers a touch of black pepper and mirliton.  Nice.  Definitely a major component of Dewar’s.  I’d love to see how this one ages, but what’s in the glass is an uncomplicated, silky whisky. 7.5/10

THE DEVERON 12-YEAR-OLD

From the Macduff distillery, The Deveron is supposed to capture a touch of sea air.  Toffee, seaweed and hints of tropical fruit define the nose.  Taste-wise, we’re looking at rich salted caramel, spiced vanilla custard, grilled pineapple, seaweed,  pine cones and black pepper.  The finish isn’t long, and leaves behind notes of stewed fruit and herbs.  Re-tasting Dewar’s 12, I can recognize the Deveron in the blend, but it’s nowhere near as dominant a whisky as Aberfeldy.  There’s lots going on here compared to Aberfeldy.  It’s not as sweet, but offers an interesting green fruit and plant profile.  8/10

ROYAL BRACKLA 12-YEAR-OLD

The first distillery to hold a Royal Warrant, The Brackla distillery’s single malts have just been released in the US. Sherried fruit, mango, and light toffee make up the nose on this 12-year-old whisky.  The entry is light, and features notes of rich tropical fruit, spice cake, and sherried malt.  There’s a rich mouthfeel here… The richest of the four malts in this post.  The slightly dry finish features a touch of cinnamon, red wine and malt.  Based on what I’m tasting here, I’m assuming this I a small component of Dewar’s.  There’s probably just enough to add a slight Sherry note.  Definitely my favorite of the bunch, due to it’s sherried component.  8/10

AULTMORE 12-YEAR-OLD

Aultmore has the lightest color of the group, leading me to think there is little to no coloring added.  The nose is less sweet and fruity than the other malts.  Freshly mowed grass, herbs and flowers with a touch of vanilla and toffee make up the nose here.  A sweet candied fruit starts things off, with anise, rosemary and vanilla providing some backbone alongside some toffee and lemon rind.  The long finish leaves behind a nice semi-sweet & bitter and malty note.  A solid offering!  8/10

Thanks to Dewar’s and their PR company for the samples.  As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

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