In another industry release that bridges the gap between scotch and bourbon, Dewar’s has released Dewar’s Scratched Cask. This new whisky borrows a technique from bourbon production, where the barrels are heavily charred and then scratched, which alters the flavor of the spirit. In this case, imbuing it with extra notes of sweet vanilla, toasted oak and spice.
For a few years now, scotch brands have been trying to appeal to bourbon drinkers. Another example of scotch that’s produced with a nod to bourbon is Auchentoshan American Oak, which is aged in first-fill bourbon barrels to impart heavier bourbon notes. And taking it a step further is Barrelhound, a new whisky that was matured in American Oak to very directly “give it a smoother, sweeter, Bourbon-like finish,” according to the website.
And according to Dewar’s, Scratched Cask is “not a hybrid, but a different technique that combines the best of Scotch whisky and American whiskey know-how to create a new liquid that is smooth from start to finish.”
Dewar’s Scratched Cask is a blend of up to 40 carefully selected single malt and single grain whiskies left to mature in oak casks in Scotland for a minimum of four years. At that point, the liquid is married in handcrafted American oak casks. These barrels, bourbon and virgin oak, are heavily charred and then lightly scratched at the char layer to alter the flavor of the whisky. The liquid is then left to blend and breathe for a few additional months before bottling.
Dewar’s Scratched Cask is a limited release that’s available at select retailers nationwide for about $26.