Round five of Dewar’s “Smooth” whisky series is upon us, this one a “French Cask Smooth” bottling that sees its blended whisky finished in Calvados apple brandy casks. As with the rest of the line, an 8 year old age statement is provided, but no additional details are forthcoming.
If you like apples — or apple brandy — you’ll surely find plenty to enjoy here. In fact, it’s one of the most approachable and refreshing releases in the series to date — even if apples aren’t exactly your jam.
The nose is mild and lightly woody, with fresh cereal notes driving the experience from the start. Here, apple is a secondary character, and a distant one at that, though inklings of fruit manage to peek through what is otherwise a standard — if perfectly enjoyable — blended Scotch aroma. The palate sees the apple component plumped up quickly, though it never comes off as in-your-face as an actual Calvados might. Gentle caramel and vanilla, filtered through a base of light cereal notes, emerge in short order. Were there more of a spice component here, you might begin thinking of American apple pie. Alas, this is French Smooth, so cinnamon and cloves are out of the picture; instead it’s got more of an unseasoned apple character amidst a backdrop of burnt sugar, well into the finish.
The good news is that all of those flavors are as appealing as they are “smooth,” and the finished product goes down without complaint, never needing much spice to keep it on its feet. While it’s a harmless straight-sipper, the extra fruit in the mix makes this a delightful blending component that offers ample versatility. At $25 a bottle, I see few reasons to complain.
B+ / $25 / dewars.com