Translate Caskstrength!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Johnnie Walker - Gold Medal and Blue Ribbon

A while ago we did a latteral tasting of JW Gold (Cent. Edition) and Jonny Walker Blue. Here are Tim's notes from that evening:

Johnnie Walker - Gold Label - Centenary Edition (18 Year Old Blend)

Made from a blend of 15 different aged whiskies, a bottle of this will set you back about £55.00 (give or take!).

Nose: More perfumed and floral than the Blue Label; candy sweet rather than syrupy. Some very appealing oily and toasty notes.

Palate: Spices, delicious oak, sponge cake, cereal, honey, syrup, ginger and dried orange peel. In a word, delicious.

Finish: An elegant dance of the above, with some delicious pepper and spice notes and hints of mixed peel.

Comment: This pretty much epitomises everything that blend-lovers love about blends: Quality, Harmony, Complexity, Grace. Beautiful.

Johnnie Walker - Blue Label

This is the premium blend for JW and a 70cl bottle of this, in the UK, will currently set you back about the same as a good Port Ellen (£110+).

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 fade 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.

- Tim