Continuing blended whisky month here on dramstats with day 6 of our 12 blends competition. Today it was the turn of Tom a la Tom’s Whisky Reviews.
He has chosen Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18 Years, which I spectacularly failed to guess. I’ve gone for Compass Box Asayla.
Johnnie Walker Platinum is what I consider to be the top of the non-premium Johnnie Walker blends, which start with ‘Blue label’. That’s my definition not theirs, but I view this blend at the top of the “affordable” range and JW blue, at over £130, as “premium” in the sense that it would have to be very good indeed for me to part with that sort of money.
Here are the dramstats:
- ABV 40%
- Age 18 Years
- Price £63
Nose: Oak, sea spray, subtle peat smoke, cut grass, furniture polish.
Palate: Sweet maple syrup, plum juice, vanilla, malty with some sweet sherry notes.
Finish: Pepper, malty ovaltine and plum juice. Fairly mild fade with a faint tingle of oak.
Verdict: Nice, and I definitely enjoyed it. However, when blind tasting I noted that for me it was a touch difficult for a blend and I didn’t find that the nose connected all that well with the palate. Knowing now what it is, I was perhaps tasting it with the wrong head on, and expecting a comforting and drinkable every day type dram (which for me a good blend in the £20-£45 range should be). This is obviously more expensive and more of a complex treat. Saying that, I wouldn’t part with £64 for a bottle of this, but I would like to taste it again.
Continuing blended whisky month with my review of Johnnie Walker Gold Label reserve.
This was the first day of our 12 blends competition and today was the turn of Adrian Barnett (mynameisgone on twitter) to tease us all with this blind tasting. This competition works the same way as the 12 drams of christmas did. We taste the whiskies the blind, then blog about them. I will post my guesses and the results honestly.
To be honest, the chance of any of us getting any right is pretty remote! We know malts, but it’s difficult to guess a blend unless you are loyal to the brand. The point of this, for me at least, is not to get many right, but to become exposed to blends I’d not tried or appreciated.
Here are the dramstats:
Nose: Sweet with a good waft of smoke and honey. Buttery and there is a hint of lavender.
Palate: The buttery and honey sweetness is there and there is a hint of buttery popcorn.
Finish: Finish Slight peppery tingle from the oak, some rich honey and a touch of smoke.
Verdict: An excellent blend with a lovely balance of sweetness and smoke with a nice kiss of spice at the end. One I could happily dram with all night! However, I think it’s a little too pricey for my money. If I could get £10 off somewhere I may be picking up a bottle!
November and December are excellent months for super bargains on whisky in the supermarkets. I picked up a few bargains this time around and here is one of them. Johnnie Walker Double Black. This is a Diageo blended whisky that, at least from the name, appears to be pitched as a richer and smokier version of the famous black label.
Here are the dramstats
- ABV 40%
- Price £24 (supermarket deal) ~£33 normally
Nose: Closed. This is very difficult to coax out of it’s shell. There is smoke and a sweetness that is almost cigar-like. Drop of water opens up furniture polish, old leather and a salty tang. The nose is complex but is still quite faint (and I’ve sampled this multiple times). Best not to have had a malt before nosing this one.
Palate: Extremely mild but sweet leading into smoke then ash. The smoke is cigar like, warm and lovely. There is a burst of barley sweetness as the palate develops with the smoke.
Finish: Cigar ash and a bitter caramel.
Verdict: Even though there is smoke, this is a dram for early in a dramming session as it’s delicate and would be dominated by a single malt. It is subtle and complex and certainly interesting. One I would buy again at the price I paid, but perhaps not one I’d seek out at over £30.