Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky

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Johnnie Walker founded this iconic Scotch Whisky brand in 1820.  The brand’s blended Scotch portfolio is comprised of expressions ranging from super-premium to affordable.  This gives drinkers options, while at the same time having the assurance that no matter which label they choose, it will be a quality product.

When it comes to Scotch blending, it is a true art form.  To get it drinkable, along with marketable, blending a myriad of available whiskies is a rare talent that only a few in the world are able to master.  To find the perfect blend, and be able to repeat it during subsequent bottling of the label and stay consistent year after year, is even more challenging.  When you view it from this perspective, the diverse portfolio offered by Walker is very impressive.johnnie walker blended scotch whisky

What really distinguishes one Johnnie Walker expression from another one is the label’s color.  Each one offers a different blend of whiskies that have been aged for a certain length of time.  The more expensive ones are also the oldest.  At the bar, this can be a bit confusing.  There have been quite a few incidents where a drinker was surprised by their bar tab after they ordered one of the more expensive Johnnie Walkers.  Here is an overview of the current Johnnie Walker portfolio to help you get familiar with their color code.

Johnnie Walker Red Label

Johnnie Walker Red Label

The Red Label is where the Johnnie Walker portfolio starts.  This reliable whisky can be found in just about every bar around the world.  This is their least expensive Scotch.  It is great for mixing Scotch cocktails.

Johnnie Walker Red was known originally as Extra Special Old Highland Whisky.  In 1909 it took on the Red Label name.  It blends 30 young grain and single malt whiskies.  The flavor is spicy and sweet, and the finish is warm and features a robust smoke character.

Retail price is approximately $20-$25 for 750 ml bottle.

Johnnie Walker Black Label

Johnnie Walker Black Label

 

The Black Label is a step up on the Johnnie Walker color wheel, and it definitely makes a huge difference.  Walker’s Black Label is blended Scotch that is complex yet still surprisingly affordable considering the taste.  This is what I personally recommend if you want to create a really good Scotch cocktails, such as a Rusty Nail or Rob Roy.  It is very enjoyable by itself as well.

The Black Label is made from around 40 grain and single malt whiskies.  Each of them are aged for 12 years at least.  It makes the ideal introduction to the Scotch taste because it offers a nice balance of peat and sweet.  This is an elegant Scotch for a very affordable price.  This reliable whisky easily can become a regular staple of any bar.  Click here to read more about Black Label.

Retail price is approximately $30-$35 for 750 ml bottle.

Johnnie Walker Double Black

Johnnie Walker Double Black Label

The Double Black got its start in 2011 in limited edition expression form.  However, it is now is a permanent part of the Johnny Walker portfolio, which has Scotch lovers celebrating.  It is quite similar to Black Label, however it has a more intense and richer flavor.  It is true masterpiece when it comes to blended Scotch.  If you’re a fan of Black Label’s smoke, the next ideal step to refine your Scotch palate is to try the Double Black.

The Double Black has a full-bodied flavor that is very complex.  It includes a very fascinating mixture of smoke with dried fruits and vanilla.  The whiskies that are part of this blend are chosen from smoky whiskies that are part of the Walker reserves.  Some of these have been aged inside charred, deep oak casks.  This is another excellent whisky for mixing in simple cocktails.  It you drink it straight, add a bit of distilled water.  You’ll really be doing yourself a favor as this really opens up the favor profile of this whisky.

Retail price is about $35-$40 for 750 ml bottle




Johnnie Walker Green Label

Johnnie Walker Green Label

In 2013 Johnnie Walker’s portfolio got a makeover, with Green Label being phased out in the U.S.  Reportedly, however, it will continue to a focus in Taiwan, its most popular marketplace.

Green Label blends four malts that are chosen from Scotland’s four corners.  Each of them are 15 years old at least.  It is frequently described as honeyed, is extremely smooth and has dried fruit notes.

Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve

Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve

Gold Label, as of summer 2013, is in transition.  This familiar blend of approximately 15 single malts that are aged from 15 to 18 years, has ceased production and is being phased out.  Gold Label Reserve will replace it.  It was originally sold in the duty free markets and now it is released in the U.S.

Johnnie Walker Platinum

Johnnie Walker Platinum Label

At this point, the current portfolio of Johnny Walker starts stepping into the Scotch’s real realm of luxury.  In 2013, it was a welcome new addition.  If you have enjoyed the Green or Gold labels, the Platinum Label will blow you away.

Whiskies are blended to perfection with this label.  Until recently it has been reserved for exclusive events and private tastings.  The doors are open now, and we are all able to enjoy this amazing full-flavored Scotch which is a blend of grain and single malt whiskies.  Each of them have aged for 18 years at least.  This whisky has been created by Jim Beverage, the Master Blender, from select casks from 20 to 25 distilleries to create a wonderful sipping Scotch.  Picture a whisky with a hint of Islay peat and smoke and little bit of Speyside sweetness and some fruit.

Nothing should be added to this Scotch except an ice ball for a very slow melt or a splash of water.  It is incredible and should be appreciated all on its own for the finely crafted liquid that is.  Honestly is rivals the Blue label.  Considering how old it is, the price is quite reasonable and is worth every cent.

Retail price is approximately $110 per 750 ml bottle.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

The Blue Label is the pinnacle of  Johnnie Walker’s portfolio.  It’s that Scotch that most of just get to taste on very special and rare occasions.  This is true luxury.  There are not too many other drinks that can follow four and five star meals the way Blue Label can.  It is an incredible experience, it is beautiful and one of the finest spirits you will ever encounter.

Blue Label is made from rare whiskies.  Many of them come from defunct distilleries.  According to Johnnie Walker, only one out of ten thousand casks have the sufficient quality required to make the blend.  Blue Label is characterized by vanilla, honey and soft sherry contrasted by a dark and intense chocolate peatiness.  Click here to read more about Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

Retail price is about $150 to $250 per 750 ml bottle.




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