After just a year on the market, the accolades keep piling up for Dewar’s Double Double line of blended whiskies.
Last month, the 32-year-old version in the Dewar’s line won “Whisky of the Year” from a spirits competition called the International Whisky Competition.
Dewar’s Double Double line of whiskies is the most recent premium addition to the portfolio of one of the world’s most storied blended scotch brands. Over the last 14 months, it has received countless accolades (including some praise from us). But it hasn’t been limited to the 32-year.
The 21-year-old bottle took one of the most prestigious annual awards in 2019: Best Scotch Whisky according to Whisky Advocate Magazine.
Meanwhile, Jim Murray gave the 27-year-old Double Double an impressive 96.5 in his 2020 Whisky Bible, saying it’s “…a double miracle at work. And one of the best new blends I have tasted for a year or two. Superb.”
And when these whiskies launched last March, Mark Gillespie (host of the Whiskycast podcast and one of the most respected independent reviewers of whisky working today) gave all three bottles in the line (21, 27, and 32) a shocking 94 point score, calling both 21 and 27 “Excellent” and 32 “Outstanding” in his reviews.
The IWC’s award is really just another on a growing pile from around the industry. But why is this whisky garnering so much praise? Double Double’s signature profile comes from its blending process, and at the heart of blending is Dewar’s Master Blender Stephanie Macleod, now a two-time Master Blender of the Year according to IWC (she won the award last year as well). Macleod blends the malt and grain whiskies used in this blend separately, and allows them to marry before they’re combined.
Once they’re combined, they’re allowed time to marry again, before being finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks (some sources wrongfully claim they’re oloroso sherry casks—a nuttier and heavier style than PX).
The whole process is sort of a slow-and-low approach to whisky blending—something rarely seen in a whisky era demanding fast turn-around and quick supply.
The final whiskies have been universally praised as light and sippable, immaculately balanced and incredibly complex—something you might expect from whiskies aged 21-32 years, but not of whiskeys in the reasonable price range of $90-$300, and are still available on sites like Drizly right now.
Which one is right for you? That’s a hard question. While the younger two whiskies skew sweeter, with notes of ripe fruits and honeyed characters, the 32-year leans richer and more aromatic, with wisps of smoke and defined sherry influence. The 21-year shows spice; the 27-year shows floral notes; the 32 shows rich dessert sweetness.
Choose wisely, and choose soon. We stocked up on a couple of these bottles a year ago when we first tasted them. You should do the same before they get any more attention.