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Dewar’s 12 vs Dewar’s 15: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Dewar’s 12 vs Dewar’s 15 in this head to head comparison and decide which Scotch is better for You!

Dewar’s 12

  • Nose: Lime, orange, apricot, pear
  • Palate: Lime, orange, caramel, vanilla
  • Finish: Medium, oak spice, pepper
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Johnnie Walker Black Label


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 as a Scotch to make cocktails such as Rob Roys.

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.

Dewar’s 15 The Monarch

  • Nose: Apple, honey, pear, caramel
  • Palate: Pear, honey, cinnamon, orange
  • Finish: Short, dry, fruity, honey
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Monkey Shoulder


The nose is light, with hints of apple and honey at first, followed by caramel and a bit of cinnamon. Just a tiny whiff of alcohol is perceptible.

On the palate, the Dewar’s 15 feels oily providing a good mouthfeel. First sip brings hints of pear, honey, apple, orange and a drizzle of cinnamon.

The finish is short-lived bringing fruity notes, orange, with a dry feel to it and very little warmth making an easy drinker.

Is it good?

The 15 YO is an improvement over other Dewar’s releases as it provides a good mouthfeel with an overall good taste, no harsh or off-putting notes and very little to no burn.

Do I recommend buying it? It might look affordable at a first glance but you can find similar or better tasting Scotch blends at this price range.

It tastes similar to the Monkey Shoulder making me prefer the Monkey which is a bit more affordable and although is not a Single Malt it’s a blend of Single Malt Whiskies making a better deal.

For a bit less you can get the Aberfeldy 12 which is a Single Malt and the biggest source of malts in the Dewar’s blend as these are sister brands.

Dewar’s 15 facts:

  • This is a blended Scotch made from up to 40 different whiskies.
  • The whiskies are aged in either ex-bourbon or ex-sherry before being happily married in oak casks.

Dewar’s 12 vs Dewar’s 15: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Dewar’s 12$24
Dewar’s 15$37

Dewar’s 12 vs Dewar’s 15: Which is better?

The 15 YO is marginal improvement over the 12 YO

WhiskeyDewar’s 12Dewar’s 15
  • The Dewar’s 15 tastes slightly better than the 12 YO but not better enough to justify the price increase making me prefer the great value the latter offers.
  • Dewar’s 15 is not bad, but sits at a price range in which there are several better options as they are way more robust and tasty.