scotch rocks

SIMPLY PERFECT With Scotch whisky it is not a question of whether to add ice—but when. Blended Scotch whisky, made by adding lighter and gentler grain whisky to malt Scotch whisky, is equally delicious sipped neat or chilled over ice. When he opened his doors in Perth in 1846, John Dewar was among the first men to blend, bottle and sell his own blended Scotch: Dewar's® Blended Scotch Whisky. "On the rocks," this masterful whisky takes on a refreshing chill, conjuring delicate aromas and attaining the perfect dilution, which beckons the drinker to enjoy it as the ice slowly melts.

THE SCOTCH ROCKS TODAY

"Scotch on the rocks" is a recipe in itself. With just two ingredients, however, quality is paramount for achieving a superior drink. Dewar's® 12 Years Old is the connoisseur's choice for balance and complexity, with a honeyed aroma, fruity flavor and rich finish, offering a trace of oak. The best ice is large in size, and very cold, providing slow dilution while tempting the drinker with its clinking sound. To enhance the citrus flavors of Dewar's® 12, you may choose to rub a lemon zest on the rim of your pre-chilled rocks glass.

FRESH TAKES

Try these simple ways to take this classic cocktail in new directions.
  1. Embellish the rich flavor of Dewar's® 12 with a cinnamon stick swizzle or a splash of bitters.
  2. Make a Rob Roy: 2 parts Dewar's® 12, 1 part Martini Rosso; stir with ice and bitters, then strain.
  3. Dewar's® 18 Years Old over one large ice cube equals maximum chill with minimum dilution.
  4. Try Dewar's® Signature with a splash of chilled water to unleash marzipan and dessert notes.

HISTORY OF THE SCOTCH ROCKS

1494 An entry in Scotland's Exchequer Rolls records the king's distribution of malt to friar John Cor for the purpose of making "aqua vitae," the first documented distilling of whisky in Scotland.

1806 Frederick Tudor first ships ice, sending 80 tons from Boston to Martinique. Promoting his idea to bartenders, the "ice king" creates markets for New England ice as far away as New Orleans and Havana.

1831 Aeneas Coffey patents his column still, permitting an efficient process of distillation that produces grain whisky, a lighter spirit that combines with traditional pot still Scotch whisky in blended Scotch.

1851 Dr. John Gorrie is granted U.S. Patent No. 8080 for his refrigeration machine designed to produce bricks of ice for the treatment of patients with yellow fever. He fails to gain commercial backing for the idea and dies in poverty.

1875 The phylloxera louse, an insect that attacks grapevines, appears in the Cognac region of France. With French wine and brandy production devastated by the pest, drinkers around the world turn to Scotch whisky.

1899 A.J. Cameron, Dewar's® first Master Blender, pioneers new blending techniques to marry whiskies by region of origin before the creation of the final blend, developing the perfectly balanced taste of Dewar's® White Label and pledging, "It never varies."

1950 As the Highball, made with blended Scotch, ice and soda, begins to fade in popularity, sales of sparkling mixers plummet. The American idiom "Scotch on the rocks," meaning with ice, comes into popular use.

2009 Artisan bartenders in Tokyo begin serving whisky with a single, handcarved spherical ice ball for maximum chilling with minimal dilution, a practice that is soon replicated with high-tech spherical icemakers.