Holly Seidenwand pursued her whisky passion & now she’s the US brand ambassador for John Dewar & Sons’ Fine Scotch Whisky Emporium Scottish single malts

Pursuing Passion

This blog is my labor of love. I love to taste whisky (thanks, Outlander!) and bake, and I’ve discovered that I love to share my experiences with you. It’s important to me to give you a new post each week, and (as my family will attest), I schedule my limited downtime in order to write. This blog is how I pursue my passion for whisky and baking. My friend, Holly Seidenwand, decided to follow her passion for whisky back in 2016. She left her safe job in San Francisco to travel the world for a year learning all she could about the world of whisky, and documented her travels on her blog, Her Whisky Love. I met Holly when she became the Whisky Specialist at Gordon’s DTX early in 2017, and she became a friend and mentor. Holly let me try my first scotch and snack pairings at her tasting panels, and she was always generous with her time and knowledge. Holly stole away from us here in Boston early this year for a wonderful opportunity…she joined Bacardi as the US brand ambassador for the John Dewar & Sons Fine Scotch Whisky Emporium, a range of single malts of Scotland. The lineup that Holly represents is incredible, and she once again was generous, providing me with samples for a tasting review. And boy, are they good!

[Side note: To learn more about Holly and her passion for whisky, check out her interview with Mark Gillespie from last September on his WhiskyCast podcast, Ep 728…then hurry back!]


assion for whisky, Dewar’s Fine Emporium, Dewer’s, Holly Seidenwand, Her Whisky Love, People of Whisky
Photo credit: ChilledMagazine.com


Let’s talk whisky

Here are a few factoids I found regarding the Fine Scotch Whisky Emporium lineup…

  • A Highland distillery, Aberfeldy whisky lies at the heart of the Dewar’s blended whisky
  • Craigellachie expressions, from Speyside are known for their “meaty” character as well as their spicy sweetness
  • This is the first release of an Aultmore bottling in some time
  • The Highland’s Royal Brackla distillery was the first Scottish distillery to receive “royal” status in 1833; most of their production goes into making Dewer’s blends
  • Deveron is made at the Macduff distillery in the Highlands

Holly also provided me a couple of tidbits about her new portfolio…

  • Every whisky in the portfolio is aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and oloroso sherry casks.
  • Craigellachie tastes so robust because of two reasons: they burn oil under their maltings (the last distillery in Scotland to do this) and they still use worm tubs for condensing from a vapor back to a liquid. A few other distilleries that still use worm tubs are Springbank and Knockdhu

Enough of the facts…let’s get to the tasting!

Fine Scotch Whisky Emporium lineup

From Holly Seidenwand, Brand Ambassador for John Dewar & Sons, December 8, 2018

Aberfeldy 12yr

40%ABV, Highlands

  • Nose: light nose, brown sugar, hay, very light orange 
  • Taste: medium body, oranges, milk chocolate, white pepper hits, cinnamon red hots, cardamom
  • Finish: lingers on cinnamon, cardamom, tangy citrus
  • Comments: really interesting…orange flavored chocolate notes create an intriguing flavor profile


Craigellachie 13yr


  • Nose: light honey, cut grass, peppermint, lemon peel
  • Taste: light body, hay, ginger, mint, hint of cloves and black pepper
  • Finish: fades to butterscotch mixed with mint
  • Comments: drinks like a spice cake…all sweetness and spiciness


Aultmore 12yr

46%ABV, Speyside

  • Nose: savory, doughnuts, churros
  • Taste: herbal, pine, rock candy and white pepper
  • Finish: fades to notes of basil and honey with touches of mint
  • Comments: so many interesting flavors…sweet yet savory; a bit of water emphasizes the green qualities


assion for whisky, Dewar’s Fine Emporium, Dewer’s, Holly Seidenwand, Her Whisky Love, People of Whisky


Royal Brackla 12yr


  • Nose: clover, mango, rum cake, nutmeg, gingerbread
  • Taste: medium body, chewy, brown buttercream, nutmeg, rum cake, gingerbread
  • Finish: lingers on brown butter and ginger
  • Comments: lots of dark, sweet notes here…has a lot of character 


Deveron 12yr

%ABV, Highlands

  • Nose: toasted wheat, ginger, hint of caramel candy, very light basil
  • Taste: light body, honey and herbs, cinnamon rises
  • Finish: lingers on peppermint candy and eucalyptus 
  • Comments: A definite herbal quality balanced by brown sugar sweetness


assion for whisky, Dewar’s Fine Emporium, Dewer’s, Holly Seidenwand, Her Whisky Love, People of Whisky


These scotch drams are not your run-of-the-mill flavors…layered and textured, they all have lots of flavors to explore. Thanks so much to Holly for sending me her lineup to review, and for all the help she’s given me. Even though we in Boston miss her at our Whisky Wednesdays, I know my entire WW crew wishes her all the best as she continues to pursue her passion for whisky. Hopefully she’ll come back to Boston soon for a tasting…I’m sure everyone will be happy to see her, and happy to taste the fine scotches she’ll bring!

Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!


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