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Posts Tagged ‘Blended Scotch’

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!

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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!

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Review: Johnnie Walker Double Black

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 11, 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 the Johnnie Walker website:

Johnnie Walker Double Black was created by Master Blender Jim Beveridge as a darker, smokier interpretation of the world famous Johnnie Walker Black Label. Johnnie Walker Double Black is matured in heavily charred casks and uses a greater proportion of characterful West Coast and Island whiskies to elevate iconic flavours to a new level of intensity.

Unlike Johnnie Walker Black Label which carries a 12 year age statement, Johnnie Walker Double Black is not an age stated brand.

Here is a Link to my full review of the recently introduced Double Black:

Review: Johnnie Walker Double Black

“… Herbal peat combined with light oak spice. Butterscotch and light notes of menthol as well as tar and perhaps hints of iodine and salt. Perhaps there is a bit of swampiness welling up which reminds me of a grassy wetland. Fine black pepper, and citrus zest give an indication of some alcohol heat and fine oak spiciness …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my suggested serving, the Rusty Nail.

Chimo!

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Review: Johnnie Walker Red Label

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 28, 2020

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 Red Label has undergone a small change recently. When I published my last review in 2017 it was advertised as containing up to 35 grain and malt whiskies. Today (December 2020) the Johnnie Walker Website has this to say about its iconic blend:

Johnnie Walker Red Label is a powerful mix of up to 30 malts and grains. It’s a combination of light whiskies from Scotland’s East Coast and more peaty whiskies from the West, expertly balanced to create an extraordinary depth of flavour.

With up to 5 grain and malt whiskies no longer in the blend, it could be that we may notice some small changes in the flavour profile, so I thought an updated review might be appropriate.

Here is a link to the new review:

Review: Johnnie Walker Red Label Blended Scotch Whisky

“… The initial aroma which rises into the breezes above the glass moderately complex with grain and fine oak spices accompanied by a light sweetness of butterscotch and hints of almond. There is a touch of boggy peat in the air and herbal notes which remind me of heather and menthol …”

Interestingly, my scoring indicates that I like the Red label blend just a little bit more than before.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Johnnie Walker – A Song of Ice

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 1, 2020

In 2018, to celebrate the final season of the critically-acclaimed HBO series, Game of Thrones; Johnnie Walker began to introduce a series of Game of Thrones themed whiskies. Included in this series was a range of eight single malts whiskies each representing a different house faction from the television series. These 2018 releases been followed by more releases in 2019 including Johnnie Walker A Song of Fire and Johnny Walker A Song of Ice which were inspired by the two of the remaining powerful houses of Westeros, House Stark (A song of Ice) and House Targaryen (A Song of Fire).

Johnnie Walker, A Song of Ice features single malts from Clynelish, one of Scotland’s most northern distilleries. The crisp blend and the bottle design which evokes an icy setting with frosted blue and gray colors inspired by the North, known for its cold winters and frozen landscapes, and also known as the home of House Stark.. The whisky is labeled as a blend which means that although the Clynelish is the featured single malt within the whisky, other whiskies both grain and single malt will also be included in the blend.

Review: Johnnie Walker – A Song of Ice

“… I noticed familiar scents of butterscotch, vanilla and hints of oak and grain spice. There is a light fruitiness in the air as well with orange peel, soft banana and hints of dry fruit and perhaps a smattering of tea leaves.  I am not sure about this bu my sense is that some but not all of of the blend is sherry cask, and perhaps I am getting a faint wiff of herbal peat as well …”

Enjoy the review which conclude with my cocktail recommendation, Brienne’s Cocktail.

 

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