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Brand Profile: Little Bit of Honey

Posted on  | April 23, 2013   Bookmark and Share
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Dewar’s drinkers are accustomed to a range of expressions—from the iconic Dewar’s White Label (the #1 selling premium blended Scotch in the United States) to the 12-Year Old, 18-Year Old and Signature—but now they have a new one to choose from: Dewar’s Highlander Honey, rolling out this spring.

“Dewar’s Highlander Honey brings delectable sweetness with a pleasing bite,” says Stephanie Macleod, Dewar’s Master Blender, and it’s the first offering in the new Dewar’s Highlander range of expressions infused with natural flavors and local Scottish ingredients. “We’re thrilled to showcase how the infusion of local Scottish Scottish honey builds on the already present honey notes found in the base blend of Dewar’s White Label” she notes.

A Pioneer of Innovation

Dewar’s might be one of the world’s most historic whisky brands, founded in 1846 by John Dewar, but it has never been bound by tradition. “Highlander Honey is grounded in Dewar’s commitment to driving new possibilities within the spirits industry,” explains Macleod. “Dewar’s was one of the first distilleries to double-barrel age, also known as marrying, its Scotch whisky blends.” Originated by Dewar’s Master Blender in 1899, this process involves placing newly created blends back into vintage oak casks for a second period of maturation, which results in a smoother taste profile and greater depth of character.

Not Just Another Flavor

Highlander Honey is made by an infusion of Scottish honey into the Dewar’s White Label. “By using Dewar’s White Label as the core for Highlander Honey, the infusion process builds on the already present honey aromas found in the blend and creates an exceptionally well-rounded and harmonious taste profile,” says Macleod. The result is a spirit that showcases pure honeyed notes, “but still retains the treasured characteristics of the original blend, which is renowned for its complex taste profile and its unparalleled smoothness,” says Macleod.

Another interesting point of difference is the ABV: By infusing honey directly into Dewar’s White Label, then filtering this through oak cask wood chips, Highlander Honey maintains the desired 40% ABV.

Local Flavor

“Knowing that the composition and taste of honey is terroir-driven, we sourced local bees,” says Macleod. “Using Scottish honey gives Highlander Honey a smoother, buttery composition that is unique to Scotland—and since the honey is harvested exclusively for our distillery, the taste is unique to Dewar’s as well.” (The honey is actually harvested by a stillman at the distillery, who practices beekeeping as
a hobby.)

Target: ‘The Drinking Man’

While many flavored whiskies aim to attract a new consumer—typically non-whisky drinkers and women—Dewar’s Highlander Honey was developed with the core Dewar’s consumer in mind: “The Drinking Man,” a term Dewar’s coined for their 2012 campaign to categorize the 25-29-year-old modern man who is ready to step up to brown spirits. In 2012, Dewar’s launched a new advertising campaign called “The Drinking Man’s Scotch,” which uses an alluring and mysterious Scottish woman to deliver advice on living life and on drinking Scotch.  

To Mix, or Not to Mix?

Given her choice, Macleod sips Highlander Honey on the rocks—“it really opens up the fantastic Scottish honey notes of the blend”—but she also recommends it chilled on its own or as a shot, as well as in cocktails. “I’ve been enjoying it with cola, which is an extremely refreshing and balanced drink, with the perfect amount of honey sweetness and just the right touch of bite on the finish,” she says.

Highlander Honey is just the first in Dewar’s new range of Highlander products that will include unique expressions of Dewar’s White Label whisky infused with traditional and indigenous Scottish ingredients. “Consumers are turning to brown spirits for their fullness of flavor and the rich taste they deliver,” Macleod shares. The Highlander range will provide them with new tastes as well as the quality assurance of the Dewar’s name. Dewar’s Highlander Honey will be available nationwide in April with a suggested retail price of $23.99 per 750ml bottle.


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