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Dewar’s vs Glenlivet 12: Discover the Better!

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

Dewar’s White Label

  • Nose: Apple, peach, oak
  • Palate: Honey, cereal, vanilla, smoke, oak
  • Finish: Caramel, vanilla, oak spice
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Similar to: Cutty Sark


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

On the palate, 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.

Is it good?

Dewar’s is a surprisingly smooth and sweet dram. “surprisingly” because whiskies in this price range tend to be harsh and offer nail polish notes.

Now you know why is it so popular in the United States where it is frequently used as a mixer to make cocktails.

If you want to improve the Dewar’s White Label 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 mixer is perfect as its price won’t make you feel guilty.

Dewar’s facts:

  • Dewar’s is a blend of 40 grain and malt whiskies made in several distilleries across Scotland and aged for six months in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks before bottling.
  • This brand is owned by Bacardi, based in the Bahamas along other top brands like Tequila Patron, Grey Goose, Aberfeldy, Cazadores Tequila, among others.

Glenlivet 12

  • Nose: Toasted cereal, honey, pear
  • Palate: Vanilla, ripe fruit
  • Finish: Short, honey, vanilla
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat
  • Similar to: Redbreast 12


The nose is light, with notes of toasted cereal, honey and pear.

On the palate, the Glenlivet 12 is creamy and overly smooth, with vanilla flavor and fruity notes.

Finish is quite short with more sweet honey and vanilla notes.

Is it good?

The Glenlivet 12 is a smooth whisky with not a hint of harshness, peat, smoke or any complicated note. It’s mellow and rich in notes of vanilla and honey.

This might well be the easiest 12 year single malt Scotch to drink as it doesn’t have neither smoky nor oaky notes, although it lacks complexity or any memorable flavor. Let’s call it a “plain vanilla” whisky.

If you are new to Scotch whisky or liquors in general, this is a great starting point.

This is a whisky that you can easily drink neat or straight, but if you want to make it better add a splash of water.

Just a few drops of water will open-up the whisky allowing rich floral notes to emerge enhancing sweetness; this is how Scots drink whisky.

You could use the Glenlivet 12 as a mixer but I would rather use a cheaper option and a bit more peppery to add a kick to your homemade cocktail.

Glenlivet 12 facts:

  • Aged mostly ex-bourbon and European oak casks.
  • This distiller uses wooden washbacks to ferment the mash. This adds a characteristic flavor to the whisky as opposed to fermenting in steel.
  • Glenlivet is the best-selling single malt in the United States.
  • Earned Gold at the International Spirits Challenge.
  • This brand is owned by Paris-based Pernod Ricard along Chivas Regal.

Dewar’s White Label vs Glenlivet 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Dewar’s White Label$20
Glenlivet 12$33

Dewar’s or Glenlivet: Which is better?

Glenlivet is a finer sipper than Dewar’s

  • Glenlivet 12 is better than the Dewar’s White Label. Glenlivet is an entry-level bottle to the world of fine single malt Scotch whilst the Dewar’s is an affordable whisky which serves primarily as a mixer although it is far better than the whiskies offered at that price range.
  • If you are looking for a Scotch to drink straight the Glenlivet is the better option.
  • If you are in the market for a mixer to make cocktails or are new to whisky or liquors in general start with the Dewar’s and build your taste for whisky one step at a time.

Differences between Glenlivet and Dewar’s

There is one major difference between these whiskies that you should consider:

  • Dewar’s is a blend of 40 malt and grain whiskies made in several distilleries across Scotland and aged for six months in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks before bottling.
  • Glenlivet is a single malt Scotch, a whisky exclusively from malted barley and at a single distillery. It was later aged for 12 years using a combination of American and European casks.

As you can imagine these differences have an impact in the price of these whiskies.

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