TASTING NOTES

  • Producer's Tasting Notes

    • NOSE

      A mellow, rounded nose, with a dry smokiness (a Johnnie Walker signature flavour) mixed with raisin sweetness.

    • PALATE

      The first sip reveals a velvety mouthfeel, then an explosion of flavour – hazelnuts, honey, rose petals, sherry and oranges. Subsequent sips reward you with more hidden secrets like kumquats, wispy aromatic smoke, sandalwood, tobacco, and dark chocolate.

    • FINISH

      A rich and uniquely long and satisfying finish of smoke and pepper, ending with a glorious touch of spice.

  • Tasting Notes by Tim F

    • NOSE

      Smooth, silky cereal, syrupy flapjacks, polished oak. Dessicated coconut, then other nutty notes: unsalted peanut, brazil nut.

    • PALATE

      A silky caress. Unexpectedly strong spicy entry, but always honeyed and rounded by some toasty oak. The honeyed malt is beautifully interwoven around the venerable grain, which must be absolutely ancient.

    • FINISH

      A perfectly-integrated slow fade of the palate. Mouthwatering grain, and the honey and spices dwindle slowly. Extremely long but still very gentle.

    • COMMENT

      The daddy of premium blends divides fans as to whether or not it merits its price tag, but there is definitely something esoteric about the basically flawless balance on display here. Smoother than a hot-buttered, freshly-shaven diplomat in velvet trousers.

History of Johnnie Walker

The brand itself, founded in 1820 in the form of a grocery store owned by John Walker’s family, rose to prominence in the world of whisky when the prohibitions over the blending of malt whiskies with grain whiskies was lifted by the government in 1860.

Sadly, John Walker had passed away in 1857 and the reins of the company were in the hands of his son, Alexander ‘Alec’ Walker, and grandson, Alexander Walker II, who favored whisky as the commodity of choice for the Johnnie Walker brand.

Over the years, the Johnnie Walker blends changed a lot of recipes before Alec blended their first commercial bottle, naming it Old Highland Whisky and registering the name in 1867.

The Johnnie Walker inventory grew to three different expressions under George and Alexander Walker II by 1909 with the Old Highland (5-year-old), Special Old Highland (9-year-old) and Extra Special Old Highland (12-year-old) becoming a part of it.

 

These three expressions would go on to be named White Label, Red Label and Black Label respectively. As the brand continued to grow with stakes being bought in several distilleries across Scotland, the Johnnie Walker inventory grew to include new expressions while the White Label was dropped from the list.

Red Label continues to be one of the oldest blends from Johnnie Walker to be globally available although it was changed to be a NAS Scotch whisky a few years after it was rebranded as the ‘Red Label’ from its previous name ‘Special Old Highland.’

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