Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: N/A
Additional coloring: Yes
Average price: € 25.00
Official website: www.johnniewalker.com
Part of an ‘experimental’ series of the well-known blended, in which the brand has tried several unprecedented variations on its recipe playing on the maturations and malts used, this 2018 edition has whiskies from Caol Ila and Glendullan as its base, plus the usual unspecified plethora of other single malts and single grains, with the intention of creating a softer, sweeter Black Label, as per the label. A note deserves that extra 0.8 proof which is almost cute, as in Song of Fire.
Described as a small batch, after five years it is still widely available.
On the nose, we are a little more on the Red side, with a bucket of solvent that after some time (thankfully) tapers off to give way to polished wood, nutmeg, pear, apple, hazelnuts and boiled chestnuts. It gradually becomes softer and warmer, with the emergence of coffee candy, milk chocolate, red fruit cereal bar. Were it not for the acetone that remains as a common thread, it would not be bad, indeed.
On the palate, it holds more true to its name, with a very sweet opening in which the coffee candy and chocolate return, with a somewhat elusive hint of smoke. The great protagonists are the vegetal (and floral, with a touch of violet) notes, which stick to the bottom without letting up, letting the fruit notes flow over them without much hesitation, leaving behind a trail of acetone. The smoke is embodied in the toasted nuances and the aftertaste in length.
The finish is short and vegetal, with notes of coffee, apple and cereal.
An experiment that, for me, failed, the desire to provide a peat for sweet palates ended up producing a hybrid lacking in form and substance, where even the sweetness ends up sacrificing itself to the vegetal notes, losing personality. A pity, because it was not bad on the nose.