Monday, February 27, 2012

Johnnie Walker Black Label

Distillery: Johnnie Walker
Location: Kilmarnock, Scotland
Age: 12 years
Proof: 80
Distiller website
Rating: A-

We're doing some scotch reviews this week to test out some recent acquisitions of mine, namely the Glencairn whisky tasting glass and Johnnie Walker's Double Black Label. We're going to start off today with the original Black Label to have a comparison for its "double" brother. Johnnie Walker Black Label pours up a deep honey-amber in color. The nose detects peat, smoke, oak and some seaweed.

On the palate, peat is the dominant flavor. Smokiness and oak play the lead support roles. Some iodine notes (similar to bacon or seaweed) are here along with hints of vanilla, unsweetened chocolate and cherries. Johnnie Walker Black Label has a slightly astringent, tannic mouthfeel. The finish is slightly sweet, with oak and fading peat. The sweet note is the last to fade in the end.

Johnnie Walker Black Label has long been my go-to blended scotch. It has the classic Islay peat and iodine flavor I love (largely owing to the Lagavulin used in the blend) without being overpowering. This is one of my all-time favorite pairings for a sweet, chocolaty dessert.

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