Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch Whisky

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Johnnie Walker is among the best known names when it comes to Scotch.  Its iconic square bottle and different color labels that distinguish the complex flavors and blends have combined over time to make this one of the best selling Scotch in the world.  Beautifully mastered and consistent blends have been the key to success for Johnnie Walker.  The brand’s Black Label is an excellent example of the fine art of blending a great whisky for a very reasonable price.  John Walker started to blend whiskies in 1820.  His son Alexander in 1909 was able to bring the family business to an entirely new level when he relaunched an older recipe using an new and easier name to remember: Black Label.

Pros

  • This Scotch gently introduces blended Scotch whiskies
  • Readily available and reasonably priced
  • Mixable in various Scotch cocktails, particularly the classics

Cons

  • For some tastes, it may contain too much smoke.




Description

Blended Scotch whisky made up of approximately 40 grain and single malt whiskeys, which have each been aged for a minimum of 12 years.
First created in 1820 and then relaunched in 1909.
Originally called “Walker’s Old Highland Whisky”
Distilled, blended and bottled by John Walker & Sons in Scotland
Kilmarnock, Scotland
Importer Diageo North America
40% alcohol/volume (80 proof)
Retails for approximately $30 per 750 ml bottle

Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch Whisky

Is it okay to refer to a Scotch as scrumptious?  I would say this one definitely qualifies.  It’s like Willy Wonka broke into the Scotch and added some sweet, along with a mouthwatering blend of flavors that are truly indescribable and a touch of smoke as well.  In terms of the Johnny Walker portfolio, the most complex is Black Label.  It is comprised of approximately 40 whiskies, with a majority of them being single malts.  A couple of them are produced exclusively for this specific blend.  A wide range of different Scotch regions are represented in the blended whiskies that are used, from the ember-like Islay malts, to robust island malts to mellow lowland malts.

One problem drinkers sometimes have with Scotch is it can easily get too peaty, that is too smoky.  However, it is the characteristic that defines this whisky style.  That’s why a blended Scotch like Black Label adds grain whiskies as well to the blend.  It helps to soften the peaty Scotch taste, which makes it a sweeter blended and more drinkable Scotch.  Black Label is a really good place to start for anyone who enjoys the balance of peat and sweet.

In addition, the balance lends itself very well to a few excellent Scotch cocktails such as the Rob Roy or Affinity.  The Robert Burns displays quite an intriguing battle between anise and peat.  Of all the Scotch whiskies, the Johnnie Walker Black is a very fitting opponent.

Tasting Notes

All of the distillery characteristics that Scotch is known for are on display in Black Label.  It has a fruity and sweet aroma with a hint of peat.  It leads into a sultry palate of butter, oak with vanilla and warm grain notes.  It has a semi-dry finish and maintains a balanced smoke just long enough to make the taste buds want even more.




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