Not Your Dad's Dewar's: Japanese Smooth

Japanese whiskey is awesome, but the word is out and, as the category has garnered much-deserved praise, prices have risen accordingly. So, when Men's Journal published an article with "Meet Your New Favorite Scotch" in the title, I ran out and grabbed a bottle of the featured Dewar’s Japanese Smooth ($25). According to Dewar's web site, it's " 8-year-old Blended Scotch Whisky finished in Japanese (Mizunara) Oak Casks and is the fourth in an innovative cask series line-up."

So, despite the name, it isn't Japanese at all. It's Scotch whisky that's been finished in Japanese oak. And you can tell. While it certainly channels plenty of pretty mizunara on the nose and in the palate, it isn't integrated so much as papered over what tastes like plain old Dewar's Scotch. For $25 it is an impressive imitation, but whisky lovers should manage expectations; it's little more than that. And it packs an unexpected day after punch, so be miserly in your dosage. 87 points.