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Aberfeldy 12 vs Dewar’s 12: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Aberfeldy 12 vs Dewar’s 12 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Scotch Whisky is better for You!

Aberfeldy 12

aberfeldy-12-year-single-malt
NoseHoney, caramel, vanilla, pear
PalateCaramel, apple, orange
FinishMedium, oak spice, roasted nuts
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toDewar’s White Label

Taste:

The nose is subtle and sweet with hints of honey and caramel up-front, followed by vanilla and pear.

On the palate, the Aberfeldy 12 offers a creamy body providing a good mouthfeel.

Flavor is sweet and rich in caramel, with hints of apple, citrus and a fair amount of oak spice bringing balance to the sweetness.

There is a tiny tad of smoke that is barely noticeable.

The finish has a decent length, with a bit of a bite, but nothing extreme, with some oak spice to it and a roasted nuts hint.

Is it good?

Aberfeldy will not blow you away with strong flavors, remarkable and memorable tasting notes and is not something to get too excited over but it’s nevertheless an enjoyable drinker; its price makes it interesting.

Overall, Aberfeldy 12 is a good introductory bottle to single malt Scotch, it’s reasonably pricedwell rounded with nothing outstanding yet nothing off-putting.

The best way of drinking the Aberfeldy is by adding a few drops of water, just a splash of water is enough to open-up the whisky releasing nice aromas while tuning-down warmth and spicy notes.

It offers an approachable flavor profile that stacks up well with better-known brands.

Aberfeldy 12 facts:

  • Aberfeldy is aged in a combination of Sherry, Bourbon, re-fill and re-char casks.
  • Gold medal at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Aberfeldy Distillery was founded by the John Dewar & Sons, Ltd. in 1896, is located on the eastern outskirts of Aberfeldy.
  • Aberfeldy is a Highland Whisky. This region offers an enormous diversity of flavors and characters. From lighter whiskies all the way through salty coastal malts.

Dewar’s 12

dewars-12-scotch-whisky
NoseLime, orange, apricot, pear
PalateLime, orange, caramel, vanilla
FinishMedium, oak spice, pepper
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toChivas Regal 12

Taste:

The nose is quite citric as it hits with notes of lime and orange at first, followed by apricot and a bit of pear. There is a whiff of smoke but very light that might not even find.

Flavor brings more of the lime and orange note from the nose. Notes of caramel and vanilla come next, along a bit of cinnamon and pepper.

The finish is short-lived, with just a bit of warmth on the way down but nothing extreme, with a bit of oak spice, pepper and a very light smoky note.

Is it good?

This updated version of the Dewar’s 12 The Ancestor that was discontinued represents an improvement as it feels better balanced and more enjoyable.

It doesn’t shock or wow but drinks nicely neat (considering the price) while it gets better when adding a dash of water releasing a tad of caramel.

It’s also a step-up from the regular Dewar’s whose primary use is a Scotch to make mixed drinks.

Dewar’s 12 facts:

  • This is a blend of 40 single malt and grain whiskies.
  • Double barreled in first-fill American oak ex-bourbon barrels.
  • This new version is packaged with an updated label and a clear glass bottle.
  • Dewar’s is owned by Bermuda-based Bacardi.

What do Aberfeldy 12 and Dewar’s 12 have in common?

The Dewar’s is a blend of 40 grain and single malt whiskies aged for a minimum of 12 years and the largest component of single malt whisky in the blend comes from Aberfeldy as they are both owned by Bermuda-based Bacardi.

What’s the difference between Aberfeldy 12 and Dewar’s 12?

The Aberfeldy is a Single Malt Scotch, that is, a whisky made exclusively from malted barley and crafted at a single distillery.

As I mentioned, the Dewar’s 12 is a blend of 40 whiskies coming from a vast array of distilleries across Scotland.

A Single Malt is not necessarily better than a blend, consider that the much beloved Johnnie Walker Blue Label is blend and is better tasting than most Single Malts.

Aberfeldy 12 vs Dewar’s 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Aberfeldy 12$32
Dewar’s 12$24

Aberfeldy 12 vs Dewar’s 12: Which is better?

WhiskeyAberfeldy 12Dewar’s 12
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • These whiskies share tasting notes in common while being easy drinking and smooth whiskies.
  • Yet the Aberfeldy feels a bit more robust and nuanced providing a better experience.
  • Given the shallow difference in price I would cover the gap and go for the Aberfeldy.