By Father John Rayls
Sir Edwin Landseer created an oil painting known as “The Monarch of the Glen” in 1851, which became extremely popular through the 1800’s. The original was purchased by John Dewar & Sons in 1919.
I mention this bit of art history because Dewar’s current Master Blender, Stephanie Macleod, used the painting many decades later as inspiration for Dewar’s 15 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky. Her predecessor, Thomas Aitken, has said the backbone of the blend is a 27 year old malt whisky from Aberfeldy. This comment is an interesting lesson in that when the common consumer thinks of backbone, they would mean the single largest constituent in the blend, but that isn’t what Aiken meant. His use is meant more literally, the thing Macleod built the blend around. Still, it all goes to show that a 15 year age statement really does mean 15 years minimum.
The Scotch has a beautiful light, muddy copper color in the glass, with highlights of white and polished brass. The legs appeared a little thinner than in the 12 Year Old and were readily apparent.
The nose was subtle, with aromas of malt, honey, oak, floral and light fruit and very light smoke, showing a little of the Sherry cask influence. There was some slight nose burn present too, despite the subtlety.
The mouthfeel was creamy and soft. Most of the mouth action was from mid-palate towards the back. I found the flavor profile to be very subtle as well with light notes of floral and oak. The finish was short to medium in length and continues the overall feel of softness with some warming at the very back of the mouth with light vanilla and oak.
Dewar’s 15 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky is an easy sipping whisky both neat and with water or ice. It is also very suitable for Scotch-based cocktails.
Because Dewar’s is the most popular scotch in America, even this 15 Year Old is available almost everywhere and the prices are all over the map. However, you should find most pricing between $45.00 and $60.00.