Blended Scotch Whiskies Johnnie Walker Scotland

Johnnie Walker XR 21yo

Review of the high-end Johnnie Walker in a glass decanter.

Provenance: Scotland
Typology: Blended Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 40%ABV
Ageing Barrels: N/A
Chillfiltered: Yes
Additional coloring: Yes
Owner: Diageo
Average price: € 155.00
Official website: www.johnniewalker.com
Vote: 85/100

Extra-luxury version of the well-known Scottish blended, made in honor of Master Distiller Alexander Walker II who, in 1920, was knighted by King George V for his services to the nation (and its alcoholism).
The blend was inspired by Walker’s autographed annotations and using some of Diageo’s most prestigious reserves, including Brora.

As always, the details are very vague, it’s impossible to know which barrels have been used as for provenance as for previous content, and on the processing (color and chillfiltration) you have to guess a little, although with the unfortunate gradation of 40% the latter detail can be easily guessed.
Presented in an elegant liter decanter, it’s “the other” high-end expression by Johnnie Walker, perhaps less well known but no less fascinating.

Nose initially a little closed from which emerge notes of fruit (peach, mango, coconut) alongside delicate aromas of vanilla and marzipan. Being patient, over time softens and gets warmer, hints of toffee (like the Polish ones), floral touches, honey and processed wood emerge.
The entrance becomes unexpectedly smoky, from a lit fireplace and crackling wood more than peat, with roasted chestnuts in a pair. Silky and soft, it maintains elegant and subdued tones where the sweetness becomes caressing and not ruffian, with slightly spicy tones (cinnamon and sandalwood) on a delicate bed of fruit (peach, pineapple, coconut), honey and vanilla. Subtle presence of citrus fruits and dried fruits.
Finish quite long and with a bitter touch, hazelnuts, vanilla, wood and light smoking.

A malt not complex but sober and elegant, one of the rare cases in which low gradation acquires a sense because it helps maintain a balance of flavors that wants to be reassuring. Of course, from a blended of this age (and price) it’s fair to expect more, but for its target audience it’s certainly right.

Other bottlings in the blog:
Johnnie Walker 12yo Black Label
Johnnie Walker 12yo Black Label Origins – Islay
Johnnie Walker 18yo
Johnnie Walker A Song of Fire
Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice
Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Johnnie Walker Double Black
Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve
Johnnie Walker Red Label
Johnnie Walker White Walker

Other perspectives:
The Whiskey Wash

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