A beautiful and smooth mix of old and young whiskies. A strong contender for the best blended whisky on the market.
Johnnie Walker, as you all probably know, is the biggest selling brand of scotch whisky in the world. The Blue Label is the most prestigious of its core expressions, and, you probably guessed it, it's damn expensive. $200 for a blended whisky?! Actually that's $200 for a no age statement blended whisky ... the nerve of these guys!
There have been rumours that some of the whiskies used in the Blue Label blend are up to 50 years old, but, honestly, we don't know if that's correct as the UK strictly forbids anyone from advertising that one whisky added to a particular blend is up to a certain age. The rule is, if you want to add an age statement to a blended whisky, then the age you put on the label must be that of the youngest whisky present in the blend. This rule keeps blenders from scamming the public by adding a drop of a 50 year old whisky and claiming that a bottle contains whisky that is up to 50 years old. The Blue Label bottle does state that it is "a blend of our rarest whiskies" so we'll have to take their word for it. To be fair though, once you taste it, you will quickly realise that this blend contains old and, presumably, rare whisky.
The Johnnie Walker Blue Label is one of those spirits that either gets rave reviews or gets berated by malt snobs who feel that it is nothing but a marketing ploy to get consumers to pay an outrageous price for a mediocre blend. In-fact, and this is based on pure speculation, the Blue Label is likely to be one of those bottles that people, who don't know much about whisky, would buy their best friend or close family member to make a statement that they are special and deserve an expensive gift – we have personal experience of this and do feel very special...
So what do we think? This is a very elegant, sophisticated and masterfully blended whisky from Johnnie Walker. It has a wonderful smoky note on the nose, but not so strong that it covers the aromas below. There's also sherry, dark fruits, seaweed and a strong oakiness, which shows that it definitely contains old whiskies. A very complex and wonderfully balanced nose.
On the palate, it's intense and spicy with a smoky note and a faint oakiness with slight bitterness. There is a lot of whisky in this bottle that is old but the intensity and impact you feel on your tongue suggests that there are also some quite young whiskies in the mix. The finish is very long and gentle with seaweed, smoke and oakiness again.
A wonderful blended whisky with a fantastic taste. In our humble opinion, worth every penny that you, or your best friend, paid for it.