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Cutty Sark vs Dewar’s: Head to Head!

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

Cutty Sark

NoseSour apples, pepper, alcohol
PalateLemon, honey, black pepper, alcohol
FinishShort-lived, ripe fruit, black pepper
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkCocktails
Similar toFamous Grouse, J&B

The nose is quite bad as it provides a sour apple note off the gate, followed by a peppery note, along a whiff of alcohol.

On the palate, the Cutty Sark feels thin, with a watery texture. Flavor is lemon and honey up-front, with black pepper, oak spice and alcohol coming behind overwhelming the taste.

The finish is short-lived, with a faint fruity note and more peppery and oak spice bitter notes.

The Cutty Sark does not make a good sipper as it is too peppery, bitter and alcoholic.

It improves when served on the rocks as ice tunes down some of the bad notes although the better use of the Cutty Sark is in cocktails.

If you drown it in soda you can make a decent highball and is not bad when mixed with ginger ale.

Overall, the Cutty Sark is not a good whisky and even though is affordable it does not provide good value for the money.

The best this whisky has to offer is the label which quite nice and brings a nostalgic note.

  • This whisky is not as old as others in the industry as it was launched in 1923, named after the famous British clipper ship.
  • Cutty Sark belonged for many years to the Edrington Group who owns top brands such as Macallan, Highland Park and Glenrothes, with the latter providing most of the malts in the blend.
  • Unfortunately Edrington sold Cutty Sark in 2018. La Martiniquaise, the new owner, does not disclose the origin of the whiskies in the blend leaving us in the dark.

Dewar’s White Label

NoseApple, peach, oak
PalateHoney, cereal, vanilla, smoke, oak
FinishCaramel, vanilla, oak spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toJack Daniel’s, Glenlivet, Red Label

Scotch whiskies at this price level tend to be harsh and taste like nail polish but the Dewar’s White Label is surprisingly smooth, sweet and mellow.

The nose is subtle and pleasant bringing notes of apple, peach, a bit of barley and oak.

On the palate, the Dewar’s White Label is super smooth and sweet, with notes of honey and caramel at first, followed by vanilla, toasted barley, a bit of smoke and just a tad of oak.

The finish is short-lived, with very little to no warmth, leaving an aftertaste of caramel, vanilla and oak spice.

Dewar’s is a surprisingly smooth and sweet dram. “surprisingly” because whiskies at this price range tend to be not that good, TBH.

Now you know why Dewar’s is so popular in the United States where it is frequently used as a mixer to make cocktails and one of the best-selling in the UK.

If you want to improve the Dewar’s add a few drops of water and let rich floral notes emerge and make this whisky more enjoyable.

You can also drink it on the rocks and using it as a whisky mixer is perfect as its price won’t make you feel guilty.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Dewar’s White Label:

  • This whisky is a blend of 40 malt and grain whiskies aged for six months in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks before bottling; those sherry casks add sweet notes to the spirits.
  • Dewar’s is an old Scotch whisky brand created in 1899 by its first master blender A.J. Cameron.
  • Bacardi owns Dewar’s. Bacardi is better known for those sweet Caribbean rums while also owning other brands like Grey Goose, Patron, Aberfeldy, Ilegal Mezcal, Del Maguey Mezcal among others.

Cutty Sark vs Dewar’s: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPriceBottle Size
Cutty Sark$261L

Cutty Sark vs Dewar’s: Which is better?

Dewar’s is a smoother whisky

WhiskeyCutty SarkDewar’s
  • There is no contest here as the Dewar’s is waaaay better than the Cutty Sark.
  • Dewar’s is a sweet and smooth pour with no memorable notes, but nothing offensive making an easy drinker.
  • Cutty Sark is bad, plagued with sour notes, and something I recommend passing on despite its super affordable price.