Sunday, October 31, 2010

Whisky review: Johnnie Walker Black Label

Another Sunday night, another dram session. I love weekends.

It's Halloween, so I thought I'd go with something possibly spooky-sounding. Tonight's contestant is Johnnie Walker Black Label (ok, not spooky), a staple blended Scotch whisky in pretty much any bar across America. American whisk(e)y market stats from 2006 showed JW Black Label as the second-best-selling Scotch whisky in America, only falling behind Dewar's. Surprisingly, JW Red Label didn't have as large a market share as JW Black. At least that was in 2006...with a rather roughed-up economy now, JW Red might have the lead as people may have shifted to a more economical dram.

Or not.

Either way, Johnnie Walker Black Label is seen as a paragon of Scotch whisky, coming from Diageo and being a blend of who-knows-how-many whiskies that keep it consistent from year to year and decade to decade. And bar to bar to bar.

Johnnie Walker Black Label, 40% ABV
Blended Scotch whisky

Appearance: Medium-dark amber.

Nose: Walnuts, caramel candy. Sherry, salt. Some nice wood rounded out with fruit. Very good.

Palate: Some peat, yet smooth, with sherry. Gentle fruit and light wood. Not really a lot coming out at me, though.

Finish: Some lingering smoke but otherwise the finish is relatively dry and nondescript.

Rating (of 100): 85. I remembered this whisky being more flavorful and heartier, but it just seemed to fall a bit flat tonight.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post and analysis, but I don't understand how it's so popular - I think it's a real success story in marketing and image making up for a mediocre product... Too bad Gold isn't more widely available in bars - sooo good, and so much of a better deal than Blue.