This spirit is distilled and aged in wood casks for a minimum of three years within the borders of Scotland, like the majority of scotch whiskey.
When the whiskey is ready, Dewar's buys it and then combines it with liquor from other distilleries to give it the flavor profile they're going for. Dewar's uses whiskey for this version that has already aged for eight years before it gets to their blending plant.
After the blending procedure, Dewar developed the novel concept of "marrying" the whiskey in a cask. Dewar's chose to wait a while for the final blend to develop in an oak cask before packaging it for sale. Typically, blended whisky is combined and then sent out the door right away.
The quality and harmony of the flavors are said to be improved by this method. Scotch whisky typically has a distinctive aroma and flavor profile, or "fingerprint." In this instance, it is easy to identify the fingerprint. Sweet honey and lemon citrus are the dominant aromas emanating from the glass, which is exactly how a good scotch whisky should smell.
The vanilla I detected in the original white-label version seems to be absent here, which is one way in which it differs from this version. Instead, there appears to be some agave sweetness added to the edges that can only be compared to the intensity of a waiter who just passed by my table with a margarita.
Most of the flavor profile is carried over into the taste, with honey and lemon citrus dominating. But there are also some unusual tastes present. I detect a touch more brown sugar and vanilla, which balance out the character and are typically linked to the aging of oak casks.
The flavor of the White Label version and this modification is very similar, but the small and sporadic bitterness has been replaced by a sweet agave finish. It's not particularly potent or noteworthy, but switching between the two bottles makes a significant change.
A scotch's flavor profile can benefit from ice just as easily as it can suffer from it. It is attempting to do both in this instance.
Even though the citrus flavor is still present, it now seems to be in the background. Now, it appears that some crisp pear has been added to the mixture to take its place. This gives the spirit some brightness and crispness that it may have lacked before, and it appears like it would work nicely in a cocktail.
The sweet agave finish, though, fully vanishes. At this point, I doubt that I even notice it. It seems to have totally disappeared, leaving me with essentially a more costly White Label whisky.
I think it's a fantastic idea to combine two distinct kinds of spirits from various parts of the world, and I congratulate them for trying. But in this instance, the mezcal's flavor simply isn't strong enough to really contribute to the dialogue. There are only hints or whispers of flavor that rapidly go, unlike with port or Bourbon, where a robust and distinct flavor can complement the scotch.