"Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, ever give up unless they offer Johnny Walker Black." – Winston Churchill
Blended whiskey markedly was what most people drank in the 20th century. And today, though it still holds a strong place in the Scotch whisky market (roughly 90 percent!), it is very much seen as inferior to single malt Scotch. Which I have to say is unfortunate because the rightly blended whisky, as generally stated, can be greater than the sum of its parts and it can simply be a joy to drink. Johnny Walker Black is a blend of 40 different whiskies, each aged 12 years or longer. More clearly the age statement on a blended whiskey actually distinguishes the youngest whisky in the blend.
This was the first of the whisky tastings from my last vacation – shout out to my father who joined me for this blended experience.
Johnny Walker Black Label Whisky Review:
Price: Around $30 for a 750ml bottle.
Packaging/Labeling: Classic Johnny Walker square bottle which cones at the top. One brand which has really stayed true to its original design and label and for that I say: “Thank you Mr. Walker!”
Alcohol Content: 80 Proof, 40% ABV.
Color: Burnt golden hue. A bit too much E150e.
Nose: Vanilla and caramel, dried apricot, and nutmeg, a lot of cinnamon on the back. Smoky.
Tasting: Butterscotch and pepper. Floral notes, raison, vanilla, and light peatiness. Not very sweet – more rounded and less direct compared to any particular single malt. A wonderful dryness.
Conclusion: This is a very well balanced and well rounded blended whisky. Yes, we know this isn’t a single malt and yes, we know this isn’t Johnny Walker Blue Label. Get over it! Ignore most reviewers who say it taste like crap – we don’t want to be malt snobs anyway. The time and dedication it took to blend this is apparent and for the price this is a fabulous blended whisky. Great to start someone off with because of its standard setting excellence, but something you can always have tucked away in the bar for easy drinking or a starter while your single malt opens up.