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Archive for the ‘Scotch Whisky’ Category

Review: Highland Park 10 Years Old (Viking Scars)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 5, 2021

Highland Park Distillery is located in the Highlands of Scotland on the Island of Orkney which is famous for its heather rich meadows, and its unique organic Orcadian peat. Their 10 Year Old Highland Park Whisky (Viking Scars) is part of the new core range of the distillery which includes the 12 Year Old Viking Honour and the 18 Year old Viking Pride.

According to the information provided to me, this Single Malt Whisky is aged predominantly in American Oak casks (Oloroso sherry seasoned oak casks). The flavour is of course also driven by the hand cut aromatic peat from the Hobbister Moor which is used (by burning) to dry a portion of the malted barley.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Highland Park 10 Years Old (Viking Scars)

“… The Viking Scars surprised me with its mild approachable nose. The Orcadian peat is in the breezes, but it sits a little further back allowing notes of butterscotch, vanilla, and citrus fruit (orange peel) more prominence. The oak is spicy rather than woody and hints of almond seem to confirm the prevalence of American oak …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my serving suggestion, Blood and Sand.

Chimo!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Johnnie Walker Aged 18 Years

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 8, 2021

At the start of the year I began to taste the iconic Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky line-up beginning with the flag bearer Red Blend and working my up the ladder through the Double Black and the Black, through the Green on my way to the Blue. On this ladder of blended whiskies, one is a little different from the rest in that rather than being associated with a colour, it is simply associated by its age statement, Johnny Walker Aged 18 Years.

According to the Johnnie Walker website:

Johnnie Walker Aged 18 Years is a smooth, well-rounded combination of up to 18 different whiskies from all over Scotland. Most of these are classic malt whiskies – which have undergone a slow, easy maturation in Scotland for at least 18 years.

It is interesting to note that the producer does not claim that all whiskies within the spirit’s make up are malt whiskies, rather they only claim that most of the whiskies within the blend are “Classic Single Malts”. My interpretation is that the Johnnie Walker 18 Year Old must also contain a certain amount of aged grain whiskies within its blend. This mans that in terms of classification, the new whisky would be termed a Blended Scotch Whisky.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Johnnie Walker Aged 18 Years

“…  Light honey and toffee notes meld with oak, vanilla and hints of peat. Pears and canned apricots appear with indications of raisins and wisps of Turkish Delight. After a few minutes, willow thicket, and poplar trees begin to grow and hints of wetland grasses and waters seep into the consciousness …”

Please enjoy my review and stay tuned as in two weeks I will look at the top rung of the Johnnie Walker ladder, Johnnie Walker Blue.

Chimo!

 

 

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 22, 2021

Johnnie Walker is one of the most iconic whisky brands in the world. With its unique square bottle, and the labels tilted off-center, the company has created a strong brand image and its spirit is considered by many to be the quintessential Scottish whisky. When I reviewed the Gold Label in 2012, the Johnnie Walker website had this to say about their whisky:

GOLD LABEL RESERVE is blended from casks of Whiskies that have been specially selected from the Master Blender, Jim Beveridge’s Private Reserve.

It’s eight years later now, and Johnnie Walker has updated the website information which now reads as follows:

Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve is a Gold Medal award-winning blend created by Master Blender Jim Beveridge to celebrate nearly 200 years of the art of blending. Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve is created using award-winning whiskies – including fruity Highland malts and lighter Speyside malts for sweetness and spice, combined with those from the Scottish islands for our signature smoky finish.

Apparently that ‘Private Reserve’ of Jim Beveridge has either been depleted, or it is now being used for other whiskies. The point is that is it obvious to me that if the description of how the whisky is produced has changed, then the taste profile and quality of the blend may have changed as well. It is probably a good time for a fresh review.

And here is a link to that fresh review:

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

“… Butterscotch, honey and wood spice, accents of canned fruit (peaches and apricots), vanilla, cooked apples, and hints of cinnamon. As the glass breathes we notice spicy tobacco and toffee and a welling up of wood spice, fresh grain and chaff, dry fruit (raisins and prunes) and some peat smoke …”

Please enjoy my review. I will continue to climb up the ladder of Johnnie Walker Whiskies with a review of the 18 Year Old which should be ready in a few weeks.

Chimo!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Johnnie Walker Green Label Blended Malt

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 8, 2021

Johnnie Walker is one of the most iconic whisky brands in the world. With its unique square bottle, and the labels tilted off-center, the company has created a strong brand image and its spirit is considered by many to be the quintessential Scottish whisky.

Johnnie Walker Green Label was apparently discontinued for several years from about 2012 to 2016; however, the brand was quietly reintroduced in 2017. Based upon my recent recognition that both Johnny Walker Red and Johnny Walker Black seem to have undergone changes in their blending regimes it is likely that when Johnny Walker Green was reintroduced that changes may have occurred with this expression as well. Whereas the brand was previously promoted as containing specific Malt whiskies as part of its construct, the Johnny Walker website is now non committal regarding any specific malt whisky within its blend.

The Green Label is what is termed, a blended malt whisky, and as such it is produced without any grain whisky. Rather it is produced as a mixture of Single Malts from various whisky producing regions of Scotland, specifically Speyside, Highland, Lowland and Island malts. As well, all of the malt whiskies used within its construct have been aged for a minimum of 15 years in both European and American Oak casks.

Here is a link to my latest review:

Review: Johnnie Walker Green Label Blended Malt

“… Sandalwood and fine wood spice, vanilla, orange zest and fruity citrus, leathery barley, fresh cut hay, heather and tobacco as well as a light somewhat smoky peat underneath. There are also some notes of banana and banana peel, some baking spices (ginger, cinnamon and allspice) and bits of almond …”

Please enjoy my review!

Chimo!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Review: Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 25, 2021

Johnnie Walker is one of the most iconic whisky brands in the world. With its unique square bottle, and the labels tilted off-center, the company has created a strong brand image and its spirit is considered by many to be the quintessential Scottish whisky. The company has been operating since 1820, and has grown steadily to become one of the most important Scottish whisky brands in the world today.

According to my research, Johnnie Walker Black Label has undergone some changes since I published my last review in 2011. At that time it was advertised as containing up to 40 premium grain and malt whiskies. Today (December 2020) the Johnnie Walker Website has this to say about its iconic blend:

Johnnie Walker Black Label is a smooth and beautifully balanced whisky with a distinctive smoky flavour, expertly crafted using an unrivalled selection of Single Malts and Grains each aged for at least 12 years.

All of the whiskies in the Black Label blend are still aged at least 12 years, however references to the number of whiskies which are used to created the blend are no longer found. As well a more recent tasting of the blend seems to indicate to me that some of the richness and depth which I formerly associated with the blend has been lost. This means a fresh review is probably appropriate.

And here is a link to that review:

Review: Johnnie Walker Black Label

“… Fine oak spices combine with treacle and dry fruit, raisins and green apples with perhaps a hint of Turkish Delight. More dry fruit (raisins and dates), and hints of chocolate appear with a light herbal smoke and a touch of boggy peat. Oak builds as we let the glass sit with vanilla and baking spices gathering …”

Please enjoy this review which continues my walk through the Johnnie Walker ladder of whiskies.

Chimo!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky

 
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