Typically, Drink with Aloha chronicles my personal misadventures with alcohol. Occasionally, however, people in the wine and spirits industry mistake my booze addled ramblings for journalism and invite me along to sample a new product with industry professionals, bartenders, and others who actually know what the fuck they’re talking about. Attending these events always causes me a personal crisis of journalistic ethics, since it’s difficult to write objectively about free drinks.
Then I have a couple drinks, remember I’m not a journalist and don’t have any ethics; and all is right with the world again.
This past Wednesday I had the pleasure of attending a tasting of the Dewar’s portfolio, which included Dewar’s blended – Dewars White Label, Dewars 12, and Dewars Signature – and single malt – Aberfeldy 12, Aberfeldy 21 – offerings followed by couple of scotch cocktails mixed up by The Modern’s head beverage guru, Tim Rita, and organized by Young’s Market Hawaii alcohol event promotion supernova, Christa Wittmier.
The tasting was set on the pool deck of The Modern – a total sleeper spot to grab lunch and a drink, by the way – amid styled-out luxury, sunshine, and beautiful ladies in bikins soaking up the sunshine. This idyllic setting further clouded my ability for objective judgement – it’s hard to be negative when you’re drinking free scotch on the pool deck of a luxury Waikiki Hotel – but I attempted to steel my reserve and approach each beverage with as unbiased an opinion as possible.
The Dewar’s Signature completely foiled that plan.
Before we sampled Dewar’s Signature, the high end Grand Daddy of the bunch, Dewar’s Brand Ambassador Gabe Cadarella said “If I ever see you putting coke in this, I’ll kick your ass.” After briefly flirting with the idea of ordering a Coke to test whether Gabe would make good on his claim, I decided to save that experiement for a future article. Dude is kind of big and I thought I’d enjoy the scotch more without a black eye.
I took my first sniff and knew I was in for something special. The nose is light, enticing and delicate, almost aloof. It gives off a total hipster vibe. “Yes, that is a light hint of honey and toffee. Whatever.” The first sip coats your mouth with a rich, smooth toffee, caramel, honey syrup and subsequent sips enhance and embolden the interplay of the flavors. After the third sip, the clothes come off and the flavors start to have a scotch threesome in your mouth. I’m sure if you had a full glass, they’d get even more comfortable and start to get really kinky.
I was decidedly upset when my glass finally emptied. I turned it upside down, attempting to coax as many of the remaining rivulets of liquid butterfly prayers into my mouth. If I hadn’t been sitting across the table from Honolulu Magazine Food Editor Martha Cheng, I might have started licking the inside of the glass.
I’m sure a bottle is obscenely expensive, but if you’re looking to expand past the blended monopolistic clutches of Johnny Walker Blue, give Dewar’s Signature a try.
(Just try not to get weirded out when the honey takes its pants off…)
[Special thank to Young's Market Hawaii, Christa Wittmier, Tim Rita, and Gabe Cadarella for putting on such a kick ass event (and deeming me worthy of an invite).]