Being Stephanie Macleod, Master Blender of the Year, Dewar’s Scotch Whisky
Dewar’s Scotch whisky master blender, Stephanie Macleod wins 2020 International Whisky Competition’s coveted Master Blender of the Year title for her ground-breaking innovative Double Double range of ultra-premium blended scotch.
The series pays homage to the brand’s signature double-aging process, transforming to create a landmark four-step aging method or “double double aging.” We asked Macleod (the first woman to win the award in 2019) about being a two-time winner of the accolade and about the Double Double 32-Year-Old expression win, “Whisky of the Year.”
Tell us about the Dewar’s Double Double collection.
Three things are very important to Dewar’s: age statements, double aging, and the pursuit of smoothness. So, for this range we wanted to elevate all of these elements to create this very special range of three. I believe the reason that these whiskies are award winning, especially in blind tasting competitions, is the incredible smooth and integrated flavor that is created from the four stage aging process, which culminates in a finishing stage in three different types of sherry casks—the sherry type was chosen especially to complement the flavor profile of the blend.
Talk to us about being a groundbreaker and innovator at such an age-old spirits brand.
Well! I’m incredibly proud to see Dewar’s described in such a way—we create new blends and expressions according to what we think sounds and tastes delicious and always with our global whisky drinkers three pillars in mind.
Congrats on your Master Blender of the Year win! Talk to us about winning this award.
Being master blender of Dewar’s is an incredibly fulfilling role, when we create and launch a new blend and then see the reaction of our Dewar’s appreciators. It is so rewarding. Winning this prestigious award from the International Whisky Competition, and for the 2nd year in a row, was a very emotional moment for me, and everyone who works with Dewar’s is extremely proud.
What should bartenders know about these innovative Dewar’s blends?
Each and every Dewar’s Blend is double aged—this is an important stage in our blending process, we truly believe it adds a heightened perception of smoothness. Also, when Dewar’s is mixed as a cocktail, you still know you’re drinking a whisky cocktail, the flavor doesn’t disappear into the elements of the cocktail.
What’s next for you and Dewar’s?
At the moment, I‘m working on many different projects for our Blends and for our single malts ranges—working with exciting and beautiful casks from all over the world. I’m also working on expanding my team, recruiting an additional blender!
How should Dewar’s Double Double be enjoyed?
I always advise that when trying a whisky for the first time, try it neat. Get to know the flavor, and then add water, but ultimately enjoy it however you want, our website and social media platforms have lots of cocktail recipes for every season.
Any cocktail in particular?
Dewar’s works particularly well in a Penicillin, because there is a smoky element, which helps to build the intensity and complexity of this iconic cocktail.