Review: Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

12 Years
Distiller Multiple (Scotland)

For so many, this is the whisky that first attracts them. Often, Red Label is the first whisky experience, but this one is a cut above. For me, it was the first whisky in which I smelled the beauty of smoky peat, and I would often take my half bottle out of my cupboard and just smell it – not even pour any – but just take off the cap and give it a sniff. This, along with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, were really the two whiskies that started my love of whisky.

This iconic blend is certainly worth a try, if you haven’t yet…a 12 year old which is blended from roughly 40 whiskies.

Review (2014)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2013

Nose:  Smoke, apples, medium peat, sweet barley, pear, dried fruit, slight vanilla, complex – can really smell away for quite some time. A bit of oak and sherry…Great!

Taste: hit of peat at beginning, a bit fruity but not too sweet…there’s sweet barley which finishes with warm pepper and peat. Warms a bit at the finish, and is almost a bit bitter. It is intriguing because it is complex.

Finish: medium finish with a smoky aftertaste with lingering smoky sweetness. It fades for a bit, and stays in the mouth a while. Quite a deep finish, in fact – there’s some depth to the flavour. You can chew it a little.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, at $57.