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Whisk(e)y Wednesday: Johnnie Walker Black Label

Editor’s Note: Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a weekly feature where we highlight one of the myriad whisk(e)ys we’ve reviewed over the years. It should be noted that by clicking on the purchase link below, our site receives a small referral payment which helps support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Johnnie Walker Black Label, bottled at 80 degrees (40% ABV) and born in 1908, needs no introduction. One of the most popular among Walker’s myriad expressions, this base bottling is a 12-year-old blended Scotch whiskey that features around 40 single malt and grain whiskeys from various Scottish distilleries owned by the giant. Diageo spirits.

This whisky, awarded a double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2020, is perfectly drunk at home neat, on the rocks or in a highball whiskey or a cocktail. It is well positioned as an entry-level Scotch for those looking to explore this style of whisk(e)y, especially for the price.

Johnnie Walker Black Label (image via Diageo)

Of the brand : Johnnie Walker Black Label is one of life’s true icons. A masterful blend of single malt and grain whiskeys from across Scotland, aged for a minimum of 12 years. The result is a timeless classic with depth and balance of flavor. To drink with ice cubes, neat or in a Highball.

Official Tasting Notes: On the nose, a bold scent of fruit with a touch of sweet vanilla. On the palate, creamy caramel, sweet fruit and spice roll off the tongue. On the finish, a warm smoke.

Our opinion on it: The popularity of Johnnie Walker Black makes a lot of sense. It’s approachable and inoffensive without completely lacking in character. It’s easy to drink neat and is multifaceted enough to work in a variety of cocktails. Speaking of cocktails, after finishing my tasting glass, I added seltzer water to my shopping list as it will make a solid highball.

This probably won’t be a seasoned Scotch drinker’s favorite dram, but if someone tells you they hate this whiskey, they’re a snob for no reason. There is nothing to dislike here. It’s an almost perfect place to start if you’re looking to introduce your palate to Scotch but don’t want to dive straight into single malts. If there was a greatest hits album for Scotch, this would be it. Just like with your favorite artist’s greatest hits collection, popular and recognizable notes lose something without the context provided by a full album, but not so much that you aren’t happy to hear them.

A cocktail to try it (brand recipe):

Johnnie Walker Black Label And Soda

  • 50ml Johnnie Walker Black Label
  • 100ml sparkling water
  • Lime slice

Fill the glass with ice cubes. Pour in 50ml of Johnnie Walker Black Label. Fill to the top with sparkling water. Garnish with a lime wedge. To serve.