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Dewar’s White Label vs Johnnie Walker Red Label: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Dewar’s White Label vs Johnnie Walker Red Label 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: Famous Grouse


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.

Johnnie Walker Red Label

  • Nose: Black pepper, leather, nail polish
  • Palate: Pepper, caramel, oak spice, leather, tobacco
  • Finish: Short, black pepper
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Highball
  • Similar to: Dewar’s


The nose hits you with a spicy blast at first, followed by a leathery note and nail polish.

On the palate, the Red Label has a thin body, is warm and hits you with spice and pepper providing a not pretty mouthfeel. There is some butterscotch coming behind, along a leathery note and tobacco.

The finish is short, which is a good thing as you do not want to extend the pain, it’s also warm and peppery.

Is it good?

The Red Label is not a good sip, the flavor is too peppery and boozy providing a bad experience.

It gets better when served on a high ball as mineral water tunes down the heat and spice, which is not a great achievement as everything gets better when served in a highball.

Overall, the Red Label is not a good whisky and the worst Johnnie Walker Whisky, this is not something I would recommend neither to newbies or for those who value a smooth dram.

If you are drinking on a budget there are better options out there such as the Dewar’s or Jameson which mix incredibly well in any cocktail.

Red Label facts:

  • Johnnie Walker Red Label has been the best-selling Scotch whisky across the globe since 1945, although not the best-selling in neither in the UK nor Scotland.
  • This brand is owned by Diageo a British spirits giant, with an extensive portfolio in the industry including Casamigos, Don Julio, Captain Morgan, Talisker, Bulleit and a zillion other brands.

Dewar’s vs Red Label: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Dewar’s White Label$26
Johnnie Walker Red Label$29

Dewar’s vs Johnnie Walker Red Label: Which is better?

Dewar’s is a smoother whisky

WhiskeyDewar’s White LabelRed Label
  • The Dewar’s is inoffensive, won’t blow you away with memorable tasting notes but gets the job done providing an easy drinking whisky that mixes well in cocktail.
  • The Red Label hits hard with black pepper and burns a bit on the way down.
  • Works well in highball as those notes sit well in that particular cocktail, but is not a whisky I recommend buying when you have better whiskies at this price range like the Famous Grouse or Jameson.

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