With sunnier months on the horizon, it’s hard not to think of vibrant summer days with a cold drink in hand, sand at your feet. Luckily, we can do that right here in Vancouver! One drink you won’t want to pass by this summer & beyond comes from the most awarded blended scotch whisky in the world, Dewar’s.
THE RUNDOWN ON DEWAR’S SCOTCH-WHISKY
In fact, Dewar’s has been leading the scotch-whisky game for nearly 150 years, and we do have them to thank for popularizing the “highball”. From pioneering, evolving, and refining the double aging process over the last 150 years, to constant innovation pushing the boundaries of scotch whisky, it’s clear that whatever the occasion may be, Dewar’s has the perfect sip- whether it’s on the rocks or in your favourite cocktail.
Plus, Dewar’s Master Blender, Stephanie Macleod, was awarded ‘Master of the Year’ in 2021 for the THIRD time in a row, proving that women really can take the world of whisky by storm.
Stephanie is not only upholding Dewar’s time-honoured tradition of double aging, she is also pioneering innovation with unique takes maturation and unique cask finishes, including Dewar’s 8yr Cask Series line, with an eye on bringing two cultures together, creating new opportunities for folks to enjoy Dewar’s throughout the year, no matter how you like to drink whisky.
THE DEWAR’S SCOTCH-WHISKY PROCESS
Every whisky in the Cask Series starts with a specially made 8-year-old whisky, but prior to bottling, each cask series whisky is double-aged and then finished in hand selected casks for a second aging period to impart a unique and distinctive flavour.
With a blend of up to 40 single malts and grain whiskies, aged for at least eight years (then doubled aged for extra smoothness), before being finished in everything from Port Casks, Rum Casks all the way to Mezcal Casks for up to 6 months, you’re guaranteed a uniquely smooth finish with every single taste.
Now back to summertime drinks, one of Dewar’s finest new products comes in the form of the Portuguese Smooth, which tastes just as good as it sounds. Celebrating the two cultures of Portugal and Scotland, this rich and medium bodied whisky brings about the vibrancy and colourful flavours that embody both countries. And with a Port Cask finish, bringing two cultures together has never been so tasty.
Not to mention, this cultural collab has made some major waves in the whisky world. Dewar’s Portuguese Smooth won 1st Place for Best Blended Scotch 10 Year & Under at the 2021 International Whisky Competition, proving that this whiskies complexity and balance is second to none and a perfect base for that summertime cocktail.
Oh, and if you’re looking for other flavourful sips on the horizon, keep an eye out for Dewar’s Caribbean Smooth being back on BC shelves this June! This bold blend of Caribbean and Scottish culture won Best Blended Scotch (3-8 Years) at the 2020 International Whisky Competition, adding to Dewar’s long (& deserved) list of accolades.
When you’re serving Dewar’s to your guests, know you’re serving them the best.
So naturally, we’ve teamed up with Cindy from @thevancouveriteblog to get the scoop on how to sip smoothly, all spring & summer long!
THE LOW DOWN ON THE VANCOUVERITE BLOG
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As a communications executive for a tech firm by day, Cindy has carved out quite a niche as a travel and lifestyle content creator. Beginning as a hobby at 2014’s Paris Fashion Week, Cindy’s creative journey has grown into a way for her to explore the places, people, and, of course, cocktails she loves and shares the best of the best with all of us.
A lifelong Vancouverite, she sees the world of experience through worldly but local eyes, culminating in her launching ‘Cocktails in the Jungle‘ during the pandemic, dedicated to those who are passionate about creating cocktails at home. When Cindy isn’t working or creating (or even when she is) she’s balancing the duties of being mother to two boys and a schnoodle named Kona, all the while entertaining friends and family with her boyfriend Keith.
We got the chance to speak with @thevancouveriteblog about what cocktails are making the cut this summer, and how Dewar’s can elevate your at-home spirits game in a variety of simple but delicious ways.
Q: What’s your favourite way to drink Dewar’s?
A: Oh there are so many ways to enjoy Dewar’s, and Dewar’s White Label is my usual go to. I’m a big Negroni fan, but love making a Boulevardier – a type of Negroni which subs out gin for scotch whisky. I prefer the richness of the whisky versus gin in this case!
Q: Does the way you drink Dewar’s (scotch whisky) change based on the occasion?
A: Oh for sure. If it’s with friends, we’ll usually drink Dewar’s White Label on the rocks, around our fire pit in the backyard. If it’s mid-week, I’ll make myself and Keith a Boulevardier. If it’s Friday and we’re celebrating the weekend, it’ll be a Manhattan or if I’m feeling fancy, a Vieux Carré- but with Dewar’s White Label rather than the traditional Rye.
Q: Describe your perfect occasion to enjoy Dewar’s cocktail.
A: The one thing (among many) that Keith has taught me is to not hold back, and just live life to the fullest whenever we can. That means, using the fancy dishes on a Tuesday, just because. It also means kicking back and enjoying a Dewar’s cocktail because it’s midweek and we’re halfway to the weekend. It’s about enjoying the simple pleasures in life.
Q: What makes Dewar’s your go-to for a scotch-whisky blend?
A: I like Dewar’s because it’s good and it’s approachable. Unlike many other scotch brands, it doesn’t take itself too seriously but at the same time prides itself on producing really good, quality scotch. And the fact that there’s a Dewar’s for everyone, at all different price points is important, making it accessible for all fans, regardless of budget.
Q: What’s your favourite way to serve Dewar’s for your guests, or that special someone?
A: If it’s on the rocks, I typically like to use a single large ice cube in an old fashioned glass and throw a couple of shots in there. Depending on the person, I might even garnish it with a lemon twist to deliver a slight citrus nose. If it’s in a cocktail, I’ll usually make a Boulevardier or Manhattan.
Q: You obviously love to indulge in great food & drink, but what is your ideal meal to make when sipping on a scotch whisky blend like Dewar’s?
A: Oooh, good question. By the time I’m sipping on Dewar’s, say on the rocks, it’s likely after dinner and I’m starting to cut up some cheese and fruit as a post-dinner ‘dessert’.
Q: Do you have a special hack, or certain tools you use to make every sip the perfect sip?
A: If you’re serving it on the rocks, just make sure it’s on really good ice. As I mentioned earlier, I prefer a single, large rock, made from boiled water so the ice is nice and clear. And it’s been in the freezer overnight so it’s not at risk for melting too quickly. The worst thing is having your ice melt so quickly that your scotch is watered down.
Q: In your opinion, why do you think people are often apprehensive of exploring the world of scotch whisky?
A: I think when people think of scotch, there’s still a perception it’s a drink for older men, who sit around in libraries smoking cigars. They also associate it mostly being served straight in a glass. That said, I do see a shift at least in Vancouver with the strong cocktail culture here, of friends ordering whisky cocktails – it’s perhaps less scary and a way to ease in and sample the various flavour profiles.
I think you just have to be courageous and dive in. My exploration of scotch started over 10 years ago when I met my boyfriend, Keith, who is a huge scotch lover, and he introduced me to it. I’ve never looked back!
Q: What would be your go to tip for first-timers trying scotch whisky?
A: Try it in a cocktail first, something accessible like a Boulevardier. Everyone loves a good Negroni, but the Boulevardier is a richer, deeply flavoured Negroni that uses whiskey instead of gin. And once you’ve had it, it’s very difficult to go back to the original gin-based version. Trust me.
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If you’re thirsty after reading this, don’t worry- we are too. And as @thevancouveriteblog says, the best time to enjoy a simple pleasure like Dewar’s is the time that works best for you!
So grab a bottle of Portuguese Smooth for your next delectable dinner party, or anytime you’re craving a beachy cocktail. ‘Cause there’s nothing like a little scotch whisky aged in Port Casks to cap off the perfect night.
Regardless of if you’re a newbie to the scotch whisky game, or a seasoned vet, you can begin your Dewar’s journey today! Just pop by your fave independent liquor store, and grab a bottle (or two) of Portuguese Smooth today and enjoy it in a cocktail or on the rocks.
The fun part is there are no rules, as long as you’re sharing it with the ones you love most. Cheers, Vancouver.