Johnnie Walker Black Label

Johnnie Walker Black Label 1

I… I think I completely forgot I had reviewed this one until I found a review sitting around. Guess that goes to show, eventually you can drink too much whisky, have too much fun, and eat too much butter.

Side note: Seriously, why do people rag on English food so much? I really enjoyed it! I had Haggis, blood sausage, really good potatos (both scalloped and mashed), great sticky toffee pudding, amazing fish and chips, and enough chocolate to kill various small children (happily though).

Anyway, back to reviewing that whisky I defended the other day (I still feel dirty, no amount of showers can get me clean). Johnnie Walker Black Label is pretty much an accessible Scotch if there’s ever been one. It’s a blend, so people don’t freak out when you mix it. It’s only slightly more pricey, so you feel great buying it. It has an amazing marketing department, and as such everyone has heard about it. Not to mention the history; they’ve been around since it was illegal to make a blended whisky, and the Red Label was a favourite of Churchill’s to mix with cola (don’t blame him (for mixing it, that is)).

On top of that, you find out that Johnnie Walker Black Label is made up of 40 different whiskies, each of which has been aged at least 12 years, and you have to wonder if there is some credence to all the fuss.

Well, let’s see if I can taste all 40.

Johnnie Walker Black Label 2

Price: $54.95 (CAD)

Region: Blend

Abv: 40%

Colour: A gold car after going mudding

Nose: Smoke, cooked chestnuts, butterscotch, beef broth, honey

Not an overly pungent or strong nose by any stretch, and quite random (almost like nosing 40 whiskies at once), there’s some nice flavours here. Don’t expect anything too complex.

Taste: Watery, smoke, pepper, flank steak, apricot, bell pepper, olive oil, basil, light honey

Very watery, which is disappointing, as there’s something different about this one. It’s more meaty than other blends I’ve had, and drinks like a meal. Note: Not like having a stout, but rather in the taste department this feels like a meal.

Honestly though, the watery aspect detracts from it being really great.

Finish: Caramel, iodine, lime candy, mint (weak), artichoke

Short-Medium finish on length, with some chances to show off a little Islay flair near the end. Or at least I assume it’s Islay, at 40 different ones, it could be a mix of a Cambelton and some back alley hooch from Glen Beck’s house for all I know.

I miss any smoke at the end, which would have added a nice touch. Again, it’s weak, but not undrinkable in any regard.

Conclusion: This whisky is a good starter whisky. It has balanced, calm, weak elements of other whiskies, and would let someone enjoy it while building up their taste buds. Don’t expect anything over the top, expect something that you can drink and not worry about. The un-ponderers whisky, pure and simple.

75/100

Scotch review #109, Blend #7, Whisky Network review #139

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #81

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