Up front I have to admit I already have a negative association with this whisky. The word “smooth” has been banned at Drinkhacker for years due to its overuse and utter meaninglessness… and “Caribbean Smooth?” Sounds like suntan lotion.
That said, I am loathe to judge a book by its cover, so I came to Dewar’s Caribbean Smooth, an 8 year old blend of up to 40 single malts and grain whiskies that’s finished in rum casks for “around 6 months,” with a totally open mind. (Dewar’s calls that 8 years of primary barrel time “double aging,” as it’s considerably longer than the standard Dewar’s blend.) Caribbean Smooth is the first in a series of “double-aged cask finishes,” so watch this space for more whiskies to come.
Ready to visit Scotland by way of Bermuda*? Here we go.
On the nose there’s a ton of fruit, spice, and coffee, the rum barrel definitely making its presence immediately known. A modest wood component then kicks in, moving slowly into the more grain-heavy influences of rug shop and a little wet saddle. The palate is a huge surprise, a soft and slightly oily body revealing a ton of chocolate, coconut cream, and caramel. It’s like a chocolate pie in a glass, ultra-sweet and informed on the finish by lingering butterscotch and more caramel notes.
To call Caribbean Smooth straightforward would be an understatement, as it’s a fairly one-note experience that leans heavily on chocolate and caramel notes. That said, it’s a perfectly pleasant one, and if you have a sweet tooth you’re likely to gravitate to it significantly — especially with a price tag like this.
*Dewar’s is part of Bacardi, which is headquartered in Bermuda. That’s not actually in the Caribbean, but since there’s no info on where the rum barrels come from, this is the best we can do by way of a turn of the phrase.