Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: N/A
Additional coloring: Yes
Average price: € 155.00
Official website: www.johnniewalker.com
And let’s get to the spearhead of the offer proposed by the ‘walking man’, opening today the Blue Label, which has always been considered the premium version of the blended.
Created by choosing whiskies from the ‘rarest and most precious’ casks (one in ten thousand makes it, or so they say) at the disposal of the Master Distiller, Jim Beveridge.
Launched in 1992, the label (unofficially) replaced Oldest, which since 1987 had been offering a blend of whiskies aged between 10 and 60 years, and now offers a range of whiskies aged between 28 and 60 years.
The idea was to launch an elite whisky, at a time very different from ours when the concept was not at all so common, perhaps only Macallan at the time aspired to that market segment.
Today, things are very different, the aura of prestige that surrounds the brand has been abundantly tarnished, and despite the many special editions, it remains an expensive blended (though not that expensive), but certainly no longer a status symbol.
But what do we care about all this? Little or nothing, what matters is the content!
Abundant cereal on the nose, which anticipates a fairly mottled nose, with yellow orange, baked apple, chocolate, aniseed, pecans, a bit of leather and a flourish of tobacco. With time, some moist, mineral, iron peat also emerges. Impression of wax. Not at all pandering, quite different from other expressions of Johnnie Walker I have tried.
The palate has an unexpected curl of smoke that picks up the wet peat, on which lies a sheet of spices (pepper, rhubarb, cinnamon), dried fruit (almond), cereal, orange, lemon peel, vanilla. Caramel. Heavy presence of firewood accompanied by tobacco. Waxy background note, which slips over the tongue once the other aromas have passed. Rich, amusing, but without that extra something that perhaps a higher alcohol content would have given it.
The finish is of medium length, smoky and spicy, with dried fruit, wood, tobacco and citrus.
A Johnnie Walker with personality to spare, multifaceted and engaging, finally expressing the richness of the whisky heritage at its disposal, albeit with the handbrake pulled by an unfortunate alcohol content. It remains an overpriced blended, where the figure is more an expression of exclusivity than of real value.