April 28, 2020

Dewar’s Debuts World’s First Mezcal-Finished Scotch Whisky

“Our mezcal is not overpowering,” explains John Rexer, founder of Ilegal, the mezcal brand responsible for the collaboration. “The full flavor of the agave comes through as a result of how we roast and shave it after we pick it out of the oven. The absence of burnt agave or anything that’s overly smoked or caramelized allows the real agave flavor to come through, and when you marry that with a beautiful Scotch you get something that is extraordinary.”

For this project, Rexer says he emptied out an entire cave of casks, sending 400 barrels that formerly held Ilegal Mezcal Reposado and Anejo to the heart of the Scottish highlands. On the opposite end of the pond, Stephanie Macleod received them with a combination of excitement and curiosity. The master blender for Dewar’s had never used mezcal casks before. She had to nose every barrel individually before any of the scotch could even enter them, to make sure that nothing was compromised on the lengthy journey from Mexico.