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Friday 14 December 2012

18 Under 30 Part 10: Johnnie Walker Spice Road

Ok then... continuing our odyssey into the reasonably priced tipples you should consider trying this Christmas, we bring you a new little ditty from the world of Travel Retail.  As more people head homewards this weekend for family festivities, the number of folks passing through our airports escalates - meaning that there's usually plenty of offers on and interesting drams to try at the friendly neighbourhood 'duty free' whisky retailers the other side of the security gates.

As we fly fairly regularly from either Gatwick or Heathrow airport, we're no strangers to the World Of Whiskies shop. In fact, as whisky retailers go, they're fairly hard to resist.  Last month we bought you news and tasting notes of a brand new peated Glenfiddich, which was released as a World Of Whiskies exclusive.  Next up, as part of our 18 Under 30, it seems that Johnnie Walker have entered the fray of Travel Retail exclusives with the launch of their new Spice Road blend.

Part one (The Explorers' Club Collection) of three different blends, Spice Road, has (unsurprisingly) aimed to draw together an altogether spicier blend, paying homage to the Walker family's travels across the globe, including the Spice Road of Europe and Asia, the Royal Route between Europe and Persia and the Gold Route of the Americas and the Caribbean.   Expect the latter two 'routes' to be released later next year, with varying price points. But for now, Spice Road is available here for £29.99 

Johnnie Walker - Spice Road - Blended Whisky - 40%  - 1 Litre

Nose: Classic Walker notes of waxy floral aromas, some furniture polish, swathes of smoke, but something altogether spicier. Dried mixed citrus peel, a hint of anise, a some cinnamon and a rich dark demerara sugar.  Inviting, rich and very seasonal. 

Palate:  The smoke is very pronounced and up front, with a burnt bonfire note mixing smoothly with a dry, oaky mouthfeel.  The anise, liquorice and cinnamon all present themselves alongside some tart green apple peel.   An extremely bold palate and perhaps one of the darkest, woodiest Walker blends we've tried.  

Finish:  Lingering sherry steeped oak, malt extract, charcoal/soot and dry cassia bark coat the palate.  Very lengthy indeed.

Overall: For a premium blend coming in under £30, this is almost certainly extremely good value, considering you get a litre for your money.  The balance is drier and richer than other Walker blends and as a result we can see this being ideally suited for sinking over ice next to a roaring open fire. And if it happens to snow wherever your are, even better...