Dewar’s Highlander Honey. Just fucking don’t.
Seriously. I will write this whole review, and tell you all about this war crime of a spirit drink, and their process, and their website, and what we thought it tastes like, and all the rest of it, but it’s extremely important that you never fucking drink or buy this. Not even, don’t. Do fucking not.
We last saw Dewar’s during the post-holidays cheap-off, where we hated their blend right in its face and it lost badly in the subsequent BattleScotch! Royale. Maybe we just don’t like Dewar’s, we didn’t really like Aberfeldy either, so at least we’re consistent. Or Dewar’s is. Or we both are. Whatever.
OH MAN. I forgot how cheesedick their website is. LIVE TRUE with Dewar’s. WOOD IS GOOD. Even better than, apparently, wood, is that no where on their site do they mention this stuff. Check the link above, if you can get through it without spontaneously sprouting suspenders and a beard, and start artisanalling the shit out of everything. They also don’t mention it at Bacardi’s corporate product site. It is mentioned in the master list of Bacardi brands, under “House of Dewar’s”. Yeah, under the house is right. Like, the basement. A basement full of fermenting bees.
So, there’s no web presence to make fun of (still did tho). On the bottle, it makes a few.. outlandish claims and confirms a few suspicions. Firstly, it says: Dewar’s Blended Scotch Whisky Infused with Natural Flavours Filtered Through Oak Cask Wood. That’s a lot to say. The back label confirms this is just flavoured White Label. This makes total financial sense from the perspective of the distiller, but as I mentioned in our Macallan review, the consumer feels like they’re being hosed for iteration instead of innovation.
We’re also seeing the same issues in marketing & wording on international beverages as they enter Soviet Canuckistan marketspace. In this case, the only bilingual sections on the label are stickers marking this a Spirit Drink/Boisson Alcoolisée, and listing the ingredients in both official languages. The ingredients, for what is supposed to be honeyed blended Scotch, are: scotch whisky, water, sugar, natural & artificial flavours, caramel, honey.
And that’s where we start to truly have issues with these flavoured whiskies. It’s not sobbishness about the idea of flavouring whisky. It’s that they’re not flavoured with anything but chemicals. They’re pop. They’re junk. No judgement, but know what you’re drinking, right? Looking up the ingredients of natural flavouring sends you into the tinfoil-hat-wearing end of the internet with suggestions of everything from alcohols and esters etc to MSG and aspartame. And the category “artificial flavours” might as well say “anything”. Honey is the last ingredient on the list, which I think means legally it only had to be seen by a woman named Honey on its way out of the building.
Under the ingredients label is a Surgeon General’s warning and indicates it was imported to America by the American branch of the company. Another case of the LCBO picking up stuff that’s not selling well elsewhere, maybe? As someone who runs a whisky blog, I’m okay with that – this became more about tasting new things than good things a long time ago…
Speaking of tasting, here’s what we though:
Dan – watery apple juice
Simon – urine
Goran – light honey
Ryan – light
Dan – dill, vinegar, stinky feet
Simon – honey lozenge, red fruit, tea
Goran – brown sugar, butter, milk, honey
Ryan – fruit rollup, cranberry-chocolate, honey
Dan – sweet fruity candy
Simon – neat idea but not very good. very fake honey
Goran – sponge cake, raisin, yogurt, very very sweet
Ryan – intense sugar
Dan – honey
Simon – honey & burn
Goran – oatmeal raising, no burn, lingering sweetness
Ryan – sugar residue
Dan – cotton candy, honey
Simon – calms down, honey makes more sense
Goran – n/a
Ryan – cleans up
Verdict: “it doesn’t taste like honey, it tastes like an attempt at honey” – Ryan.
Try it? Fuck No. Buy it? Fuck NO!