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Whisky Advocate: Dewar’s Turns To Port Casks For Its Latest Limited Edition

January 27, 2021

For the last couple of years, Dewar’s has been making strides in cask finishing, spurred on by changes to the Scotch Whisky Technical file in 2019 that allow for a host of new cask types—such as mezcal, the finish for Dewar’s 8 year old Ilegal Smooth. The brand’s newest expression, however, turns to a traditional finish—though one that hasn’t been often used for blends: port.

Dewar’s 8 year old Portuguese Smooth has been finished in ruby port casks for four months. Single malt Scotch makers have employed port casks for years, prizing them for the fruity, intense flavors they impart—think Balvenie 21 year old Portwood, Dalmore Port Wood Reserve, and Glenmorangie 14 year old Quinta Ruban, No. 9 in Whisky Advocate’s 2019 Top 20. But for blends, the fortified wine casks are largely new terrain. So when Dewar’s master blender Stephanie Macleod was given the opportunity to use port casks for a new expression, she jumped at the chance.

More releases in the cask-finished series can be expected—probably sooner rather than later, as Macleod explores such new possibilities as madeira, mizunara oak, and others. “We’ve got a packed innovation pipeline,” she says. Whisky Advocate has the full story.—David Fleming

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