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Whisky Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 6, 2009

Today I would like to introduce what is without a doubt one of the finest Scotch Whisky blends.

Johnnie Walker Gold Label – The Centenary Blend

Johnny Walker Centenary  Gold

Centenary means of or pertaining to a period of 100 years.  The blend for Johnnie Walker Gold Label was created in 1920 by Sir Alexander Walker to commemorate the Johnnie Walker Company’s 100 years in business dating back to 1820, which is how the blend received its name of course.  Although discontinued during the war due to shortage of blending stocks, the label was reintroduced in 1992, with a blend based upon the original blending notes left by Sir Alexander seventy five years earlier.  Today the Centenary blend is reputed to contain 15 separate single malt whiskies each aged a minimum of 18 years.  Of these single malts four in particular have been noted as being key to the distinctive taste of Johnnie Walker Gold:  Talisker  generates the general character of the blend; Clynish  generates the brine and seaside ambiance;  Royal Lochnagar  imparts the luxurious palate; and Cardhu lingers in the throat and provides the finish.  I have read some claims that grain whiskies are in the blend as well, but whether that is true I have no confirmation.  I am not snobbish against the grain whiskies, and this review concentrates on the aroma, the flavour, and the character of the whisky.

Here is an excerpt from the review:

“..A slightly punky peaty smell is accented by intense floral notes.  Seaweed and traces of iodine float in a mildly fruity sea pond, with a nice soft pop of cherry in the background.  A little oil in the glass adds legs and helps the nose achieve a certain harmony. …..”

You may read the full review here..

Review:  Johnnie Walker Gold Label


I have heard certain purists and intellectual whisky snobs bash the blends.  In my opinion,  it is a blended whisky like Johnnie Walker Gold Label  that proves just how glorious a the blended category can be.

Visit the Johnnie Walker Website


2 Responses to “Whisky Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label”

  1. Tudval said

    I think when they bash the blends, they mean blends made with rye whisky. All ‘single’ malts are blends, except for single cask. I sometimes blend malts at home for myself since some are quite unbalanced.

    • I hear ya Tudval. But I was at a boutique liquor store and when I asked for a sample of the Gold label. The salesperson acted like I was a neanderthal for wanting to try it. He berated me and called me an idiot when I said it was fantastic. I didn’t bother to tell him it was a blend of 18 single malts as his preconceptions based on never trying anything beyond what his closed mined elitism would allow had already ruined his ability to be objective. He lost my respect, and the sale of the two bottles which I picked up elsewhere.

      I run into this closed minded elitism a lot.

      As for blends with rye whisky, this is a Canadian you’re talking too, I loves my Canadian rye whisky! 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

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