Dewar’s has long been known for its blended whisky. But if you’re looking for incredible bottles, you’re gonna want to explore their single malts this season—especially since they have five rare releases on sale this month.
The “Exceptional Cask Series,” as they’re calling it, will be an annual release of incredible odds and ends that can’t be replicated year to year. (Other scotch makers have similar programs.)
This year’s five whiskies happen to come from two of the best distilleries in the portfolio: the unique (and hard to pronounce) Craigellachie (“craig-ella-key”) and Aberfeldy.
These whiskies beautifully encapsulate the versatility of each distillery. Craigellachie’s 19 and 23 could not be more different in taste—yet both are absolutely stunning. Aberfeldy’s three bottles may not be as divergent, yet they manage to put forth three separate flavor pillars. The first can be likened to a dessert-like salted caramel; the second is oily, fruity, and nutty; and the third is simmering, herbal, and smoky.
If you’ve never heard of Aberfeldy or Craigellachie before, you’re not alone. They’ve mostly flown under the radar since parent company Bacardi launched them in 2014. But you’ve likely tried these whiskies in another form before: They’re components of the Dewar’s blend.
John Dewar and Sons has run these distilleries for decades, but rarely allowed the individual whiskies out into the public until a few years ago. This year marks the first time they’ve selected rare casks for a limited-edition offering.
Now because they’re so rare, you’ll have the best luck tracking them down on foot (we haven’t seen any online listings just yet). Here’s a more detailed breakdown of what each whisky tastes like.