A whisky baron of the first degree. Thomas Dewar conjured a global industry from scratch, one saloon bar at a time. A drive and wisdom that led him to invest in the greatest distillery of its day: Tamdhu.
Scotch Whisky wasn’t even a niche drink in the late nineteenth century. Outside of Scotland it was barely consumed. So when Thomas Dewar and his brother inherited their father’s whisky business, they had a most intractable challenge: whisky needed a bigger market.
Thomas left his brother in charge of the business and set off on the boat to Boston. His marketing career began like a joke: a whisky baron walks into a bar, orders a Scotch. They don’t have any – so he sells them a case of his own.
Having conquered Boston, Dewar then went to New York, Washington, Chicago and San Francisco; then Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, China and Hong Kong. He ventured to 26 countries in two years, selling a vision of Scotland – replete with tartan, whisky and romance. On his return, the whole whisky business had a global audience and a long list of orders.
His optimistic ambition propelled him to enormous success. He was knighted as the first Baron Dewar and moved into the Savoy, where he stayed for four decades.
Being a wise investor and a staunch believer in innovation and industry, he also knew a good opportunity when he saw one. So when a Mr William Grant approached him with the plans for the most modern distillery of the day, he put his name down on a little bit of history: Tamdhu.
His investment went a long way, employing only the best Victorian minds to build the greatest distillery of the age. That's why Tamdhu is proud to name him among its founding fathers. The typically-Victorian entrepreneurial spirit that led him across oceans also reflected the Can-Dhu-Spirit we herald today.