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Dewar’s vs Black Label: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Dewar’s vs Johnnie Walker Black Label in this in-depth comparison and decide which Whisky is better for You!


NoseApple, peach, oak
PalateHoney, cereal, vanilla, smoke, oak
FinishCaramel, vanilla, oak spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toJameson, Aberfeldy 12

Scotch whisky at this price level tends to be harsh and taste like rubbish 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 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 top-selling in Scotland.

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 Scotch to make Rob Roys is perfect as its price won’t make you feel guilty.

Dewar’s facts:

  • 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.
  • Dewar’s is owned by Bermuda-based Bacardi along Aberfeldy and Patron Tequila.

Johnnie Walker Black Label

NoseVanilla, orange zest, nectarine
PalateSmoke, roasted malt, caramel, vanilla
FinishLong, fruity, peppery, smoke
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkRocks
Similar toChivas Regal, Jack Daniel’s

On the nose, there is vanilla off the gate, followed by orange zest, nectarine and a whiff of alcohol.

On the palate, body feels somewhat thin lacking in texture. Johnnie Walker Black Label has a mildly sweet taste, with a flavor rich in peat. There are also hints of caramel and vanilla coming coming late to the party.

The finish has some peat, black pepper, salt, caramel and a bit of warmth but is not harsh.

Overall, the Black Label is a reliable whisky, striking a good balance of smoke and sweetness, with peat smoke and charred oak barrel smoke.

Quite smooth but with a warm finish that does not overwhelm. Nevertheless, on a lot of ice as it is commonly served it totally hits the spot.

The Black Label serves as an introductory bottle to smoky whisky, those with a hint coming from the peats used to dry the malted barley.

If you are curious about Scotch peaty whisky this is a good starting point due to its affordable price before trying the peaty monster from Islay.

Overall, Black Label is one of the best age statement blends in the market in its current price range and a good choice for an “everyday Scotch”.

Black Label facts:

  • The Black Label is a blend of 40 whiskies made from grain and malts aged for at least 12 years from all over Scotland.
  • The blend includes peaty whiskies from Islay, sweet and salty whiskies from Speyside along some malts coming from the Scottish Highlands.
  • Johnnie Walker is the best-selling whisky brand in the world doubling the sales of the closest competitor. The brand was started by a Scottish grocer, John Walker, in the early 19th century.
  • Now it belongs to Diageo, the British drinks giant who also owns Don Julio Tequila, Casamigos among several other brands.

Dewar’s vs Black Label: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Black Label$26

Dewar’s vs Black Label: Which is better?

The Johnnie Black is a more versatile Scotch

WhiskeyDewar’sBlack Label
  • The Black Label is the baseline for most people who take whisky tasting seriously.
  • This is a whisky that drinks nicely by adding water, served on the rocks and that can still be used as a mixer to make highballs as its price allows room for experimentation.
  • If you are exclusively looking for a whisky to make cocktails then the Dewar’s makes a better option.
  • But I definitely recommend the Black Label over the Dewar’s as it serves as a introductory bottle to smoky whisky which is the most rewarding and demanding type of Scotch.