Dewar's 12 did pretty well in last year's sub-$40 whisky comparison. Its distinctive character, decent nose and a judicious dollop of peat saved it from mediocrity.
Not content to rest on the 12's laurels, or perhaps unable to resist the urge to fix what ain't broke, Bacardi (the owner of Dewar's) has rebranded, and apparently reformulated, Dewars 12 as "The Ancestor". Just like changing the flavour of Coke, what could possibly go wrong?
Colour: Deep gold. Not skimping on the E150 colour but a little lighter than its predecessor.
Nose: Peach, Juicy Fruit gum, malt and grapefruit. A little almond but nowhere near as nutty or peaty (in fact there is no peat to be found) as the previous iteration. Very grain driven and much less interesting than it used to be.
Palate: Enters quietly; its presence barely noticed until mid palate whence it delivers a pleasant burst of vanilla, barley and malt, fading to honey and ripe peach with a touch of spice. Nice. Inoffensive. Bordering on insipid.
I imagine most folks will find this version more appealing than the last. The peat is gone, the sweetness has been turned up until it smells like chewing gum and there is nothing remotely challenging about this whisky. It's more like Chivas than the Dewar's of old. Simple, sweet, mundane: