For the fourth entry into its innovative Cask Series, Dewar’s sought to blend its Scottish tradition of making whisky with that of Japan, another country known for the spirit. The result is the delightful Dewar’s Japanese Smooth, which makes an impact on the senses yet goes easy on the pockets.
For Japanese Smooth, Dewar’s took its 8-year-old double-aged Scotch whisky and finished it in Japanese Mizunara Oak casks for three months. This process doesn’t take away from the signature notes of heather and honey that aficionados have come to appreciate from Dewar’s, though. Instead, the Mizunara, a rare 200-year-old oak tree variety that has porous qualities and is also known as the “water oak,” adds whispers of floral, sandalwood, and cinnamon. As a result of this finishing, the Dewar’s Japanese Smooth perfectly blends two of the world’s best whisky-producing cultures. In addition, this 80 proof Scotch whisky makes a great impact for only $29!
Japanese Smooth is beautiful on the rocks … Well actually, one large rock or cube of ice because the melting water allows the sandalwood and cinnamon notes to come through. However, if you really want to take a sensorial trip to Japan, the Japanese Highball is the way to go! Whisky served over soda water and ice may have been invented by Tommy Dewar in New York in 1892, but it’s one of Japan’s most popular cocktails. The highball has had a resurgence in the last decade or so after being the cocktail of choice for upwardly mobile Japanese businessmen in the 1960s and ‘70s and then losing popularity in favor of convenient canned beverages, explained Dewar’s brand ambassador Gabe Cardarella. Just like fashion trends, the popularity of spirits is cyclical.
Dewar’s says the Japanese Highball is “elegant, chilled, and perfectly effervescent.” It’s also very refreshing. If you’re in New York City, you’d be remiss not to make a trip to Katana Kitten, mixologist Masahiro Urushido’s bi-level bar with whimsical cocktails and traditional izakaya and American bar bites on the menu. Dewar’s actually tasked Masahiro with developing cocktails, including the Mizunara Highball, that beautifully showcase the notes of the Japanese Smooth. If you’re not in NYC, the Japanese Highball is easy to mix at home.
Dewar's Japanese Highball Recipe
Dewar’s created the Cask Series to give whisky drinkers the opportunity to experience other cultures from around the world through their spirit of choice. Japanese Smooth is the fourth in the series with Caribbean Smooth, which is finished in ex-rum casks; Portuguese Smooth, which is finished in ex-port casks; and Illegal Smooth, which is finished in ex-mezcal casks preceding it.