Thanks to /u/devoz for sharing this with me.
Forbes magazine likes to pump out a whisky article at least once a year that makes me question the entire state of journalism. Yes, there are journalists covering more important aspects and doing it correctly (and sometimes doing it very poorly) that should evoke more reaction but I’m some schmuck who writes about whisky on the internet so they came into my yard, regardless of how unimportant said yard is.
Why bring up Forbes? One of said writeups hit my feed stating Dewar’s 32 had been crowned Whisky of the Year at the 2020 International Whisky Competition. Which is a lot to unpack.
First up: Forbes, who I feel has the whisky writing skills of a desperate English major. Great. Ignore.
A whisky competition, which are notorious for giving out undeserving awards and filled with enough tricks that I’m surprised there isn’t a pimp involved to make it worse.
Whisky of the year? Really? For an entire year, you picked a 32 year old Blend from a major company (Bacardi) that isn’t cask strength? I mean, at least it’s older, and there’s some good PX casks they finished it on… But again, a whisky of the year? What whiskies did you review? What was the criteria? Who were the schmucks cranking through 100+ samples in a few weeks to say?
But I shouldn’t hold that against this whisky. Because there’s a chance that maybe it’s nice. Sure it has some asshole friends near it, but we shouldn’t judge based on their lazy questionable ability?
So let’s try it then, shall we?
Price: £230 for 375ml
Cask Type: Finished in ex-Pedro Ximenez Sherry Casks
Colour: 5Y 8/10
Nose: Brown sugar, cardamom, pineapple syrup, macadamia
Nice brown sugar note, some spice, tropical and nutty. There’s a lot of the cask influence on the nose. And since I’m a PX cask fan, that’s fitting into my wheelhouse.
That said, the pineapple and macadamia are less sherry influenced and more the whisky itself, and are quite nice. Who doesn’t love nuttiness? Other than the people allergic, of course.
Taste: Macadamia, pepper, butter, pineapple, almond taste
Nutty, bit hot, nice butter and pineapple, and some almond notes around the edges from the sherry influence. Easy to sip on, nothing really off. Even the heat is more earthy.
Finish: Mineral, nutty, caramel, oak, orange zest
Mineral balances against the sweeter focused notes. Again easy drinking, tastes like a whisky that had a decent PX finish. Good acidity at the end to balance it some more.
Conclusion: Decent whisky. Is it whisky of the year? No. Please, no. Is it a whisky you could find? Maybe, if someone didn’t say whisky of the year.
Look they made a decent whisky. If I had to compare I’d say it reminds me of GlenDronach standard ones. And thus we have something that looks nice because of the high age statement, is probably a bit more expensive than I’d like, and overall is fine.
Therein lies the problem with competitions: This isn’t a polarizing whisky, so there probably wasn’t a lot of detractors, and voila, it scores high. Yay. Time to avoid Forbes.
Scotch review #1346, Blend review #121, Whisky Network review #2019