Johnnie Walker Gold Label Scotch Whisky


It is easy to understand the Johnnie Walker product line since the level of quality of each blended whisky is indicated by a specific label. For example, Red Label is the basic level. Drinking it on its own is pleasant, and it is perfect for making mixed drinks or drinking with soda. The Blue Label scotch whisky is at the other end of the spectrum.These are blends that are up to 40 years of age and have been sourced from single malts made in distilleries that no longer operate. Between the two extreme labels of Red and Blue are the Black, Green and Gold. Coming in just below the ultimate of scotch blends, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label, the Gold Label is an excellent option.

Introduced to the market in 1995, although Johnnie Walker Gold Label was not advertised much in magazines and on TV in America, it was extensively advertised in the Far East. Johnnie Walker has a massive following in Japan, Thailand, China and Singapore.

Unlike the Far East, whisky drinkers in North America tend to be put off by the price of Gold Label, and opt for single malt instead. Having said that, even with the low profile and lack of advertising in the US, Gold Label is well worth discovering.

The Composition Of Johnnie Walker Gold Label

A combination of grain and single malt whiskies that have a minimum age of 18 years in casks prior to bottling make up Gold Label. Bear in mind, unlike wine, scotch does not improve with age after it is bottled. The core of the Gold Label blend contains a number of rare single malts; in particular, a malt called Clynelish, distilled from spring water that is said to run through veins of gold. Although my scepticism won’t allow me to believe that water passing through veins of gold would affect the flavor of a scotch, the point is that the blend contains obscure and high quality single malts. The company that owns Johnnie Walker, Diageo guards their secret of the contents of the Gold Label blend, presumably because they want to minimize their competition. They may also be keeping secret the possibility that there may be more grain whisky in the blend than expected, and this could negatively impact sales if it were widely known.


There is so much in the nose of this scotch that you could spend hours just on the nose itself. It contains such a selection of scents that it can keep your nose busy for a good while. You can tell that they have spent a fortune in getting the scents perfect. I have to admit, as a person who is not in the slightest bit detail-oriented, I am fascinated by the scents of this scotch. It’s like repeatedly sniffing a rose – even my wife couldn’t believe it was scotch when she sniffed it. If you give this scotch as a gift, the recipient will be impressed just by the nose alone. It has a lot going on, including roses and other flowers as well as fresh bread – amongst a lot of other scents that I can’t identify but that smell wonderful.

Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve

Suggested Serving

This blend should be enjoyed with no more than a drop or two of distilled water, or perhaps just one ice cube. The Johnnie Walker US website advises that you freeze a shot of Gold Label in your freezer for 24 hours before drinking it. It won’t freeze because of the alcohol content, but it will thicken. This method of drinking produces a sip that has a concentrated dram of heather and honey. Having tried this myself, I have to say I was impressed; and chasing it with milk chocolate was incredible – transforming it from a scotch to almost a dessert liqueur.


The Gold Label is a soft and gentle introduction to a sophisticated honeyed dram. Mixed in with notes of rich cream, heather, cinnamon, candy cane and faint whisps of smoke, the honey is liberally presented on the palate. A truly complex wrapping of flavors with no roughness or burn. From the first sip you know that you are partaking of a high quality blend of honey, peat, smoke and spice.


Another good reason for freezing it for 24 hours before drinking it is that the flavors will linger much longer than if you drink it neat at room temperature. Minutes after you have swallowed, the flavors of the frozen Gold Label will still be on your palate. In addition to the other reasons for drinking this scotch from the freezer is the effect of the warming in your mouth after taking a sip. It is a unique and exceptionally pleasing experience that I highly recommend.

If you drink it neat without freezing it, the flavor will remain upon being swallowed, but it will not linger as long as the frozen option. Although it may seem outrageous to serve scotch that has been in the freezer for 24 hours, with Gold Label, it works. I certainly suggest that the very first time you try it, you try it after freezing for 24 hours. It is worth the wait.