The latest accolade arrives by way of the 2020 Scotch Whiskey Masters competition, the results of which were announced earlier this month. There, a panel of three professional sippers blindly landed on Blue as the premiere example of non-age-statement blended scotch from all that was tasted.
The brand is celebrating its 200th anniversary with a special edition Bluebell built off of malt from distilleries that existed all the way back in 1820. He moonlights as a beer and spirits consultant, hosting monthly craft pairings/educational dinners in both Los Angeles and New York, and curating drink menus for festivals and restaurants.
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Failure to cancel 5 days prior to membership renewal will result in your payment method being charged for the following month. Quick Overview FREE SHIPPING $125+ JohnnieWalkerBlueLabel's first rushing flavors on the palate are hazelnuts, honey, sheer, and tumble, before delivering dark chocolate, ginger, kumquats, and sandalwood.
This charming blend is made from some of Scotland’s rarest and most phenomenal Scotch Whiskey. The first rushing flavors on the palate are hazelnuts, honey, sheer, and tumble, before delivering mysterious secrets like dark chocolate, ginger, kumquats, and sandalwood.
A rich honey confection emanates, followed by hints of dried fruits and pepper, before an impossibly lengthy, lingering, smooth finish of thoroughly balanced, soft smoke. The history behind JohnnieWalkerBlueLabel interestingly enough dates back to 1990, when Johnnie Walker, a company that is obsessed with consistency with their products, reached into some of their reserve casks and created a blend out of multiple whiskey.
It is rumored that some of the rarest whiskey that can be 60 years old are mixed with other newer blends to create the signature and sought-after smooth and light taste. Due to the rarity of the ingredients, the nearly guaranteed consistency and the unique scent (Hazelnut, honey, sherry and oranges) and flavor notes (ginger, sandalwood, dark chocolate, dried fruit and pepper), JohnnieWalkerBlueLabel is one of the most popular whiskey available today, likely to please just about anyone.
The whiskey shingle doesn’t leave its fans starving for options either, with seven core bottles in the U.S. line up and 16 active limited editions (although several of those are variations on the spendy JohnnieWalkerBlue, which itself has five limited-edition expressions). The drams we’re tasting are all available at your local liquor store or, at the very least, online (check by clicking the price).
JohnnieWalker’s price can jump drastically between expressions, so we had to weigh whether the more expensive bottles were really that much better than the cheaper stuff. The juice is a blend from Diageo’s deep stable of distilleries around Scotland that’s specifically designed to be mixed and not taken straight.
The palate holds onto those notes while adding a peppery spice and a hint of orchard fruits. The end shifts towards Islam with a wisp of smoke as the sip fades quickly away while warming you with alcohol heat.
This is a very solid base for a highball, especially for anyone looking to get into a mild blended scotch that brings all of Scotland into the glass. This is basically Johnnie Black, a slightly peaty blend, that’s been asked again in deeply charred oak.
The idea is to maximize that peat and amp up the Islam and Island smokiness of the final dram. The palate has a vanilla creaminess that’s punctuated by bright apple, dried fruit, and more peat.
The spice kicks back in late, warming things up as the smoke carries through the end with a nice dose of laziness. The blend leans into the peaty seaside distilleries with 30 plus whiskey from powerhouses like Lagavulin, Talker, and Card.
Mild notes of spice mingle with bright and sweet fruits and a hint of vanilla. The taste allows the malt to shine as the vanilla, spice, and fruit counter a distant wisp of smoke.
That smoke warms as the sip fades out, leaving you with a final note of sweet wood. We’d argue that this is a good place to start if you want to dip your toes into mildly smoky whiskey without diving headfirst into a Lagavulin or Arden.
This no-age statement blend leans into that signature Walker marriage of Highland and Seaside whiskey with a small dose of Western Scottish juice for good measure. The fruit kicks up on the palate and becomes slightly tropical as a counterpoint of rich vanilla creaminess arrives.
The end is subtle and long with the fruit and honey standing tall against a very distant echo of earthy peat. This expression is all about barrel selection and the mastery of a great nose and blender working together to create something special.
The end is slow, smoky, and full of dry fruits, nuts, and a malty nature. The primary distilleries in the bottle are Blair Thou, Card, Glen Elgin, and Auchroisk.
There’s a rich and buttery toffee that’s counterpointed by a bowl of ripe and sweet fruit that really draws you in. The caramel malts mix with marzipan, creamy vanilla pudding, and a nice rush of juicy winter tangerines that have just been peeled.
Adding a little water, those orange oils marry to a deeply dark chocolate nature, which leads towards a velvety and ever-so-lightly smoky end. If you do snag a bottle, make sure to add some water or a rock and really let the scotch bloom in the glass.
The juice primarily comes from Seaside, Highland, Lowland, and Island malts with a focus on a minimum of 15-year-old Talker, Call Ila, Cragganmore, and Linwood. There’s a woodiness that’s softly cedar with notes of bright, sweet fruit, spicy black pepper, oily vanilla pods, and fresh-cut grass on the nose.
The taste really delivers on the softness of the cedar while adding more tropical fruitiness and a subtle edge of dried roses. The end is deliberate with the cedar, spice, and fruit giving way to a measured wisp of earthy smoke and a splash of sea brine to finish off the sip.
From the lowland hills to the clear waters and bountiful grains of Seaside to the harshness of the West Highlands and Islands, a dram of Johnnie Walker is a tour of the world’s most famous whiskey regions. You’ve likely had a dram of Johnnie Walker before, but one recipe, in particular, beguiles whiskey drinkers around the world: JohnnieWalkerBlue.
Bluebell is a blend of Seaside and Highland whiskeys in and around the Moray area as well as further afield. For Johnnie Walker, it represents the four corners of the Scottish Highlands and the diversity and quality the region offers whiskey lovers.
It features the Seaside malts Card and Engines as well as Clannish from Sutherland in Scotland’s far north. From the mighty west coast comes the addition of an Islam malt that brings the smokiness associated with the Western Highlands and Islands.
Johnnie Walker is a Scotch blended whiskey made with a recipe designed to create a consistent flavor. The result is a liquid that is more versatile than traditional single malts and lends more to use with mixers and cocktails.
The blend’s two dominant whiskeys are smooth Seaside varieties that add strong elements of richness and a full body to the drink for a velvety palate. The tasting notes suggest the blend offers more of a wispy smoke than an overpowering mouthful as you’d find if you drank an island whiskey as a single malt.
The sweetness comes from notes like kumquats, dark chocolate, honey, and oranges but the round flavors of the sandalwood and tobacco complement it nicely. JohnnieWalker’s seasoned professionals provide a list of tasting notes for Bluebell that point to it as being a mellow, well-rounded whiskey.
He ran a sundry store and sold single malts, but he found that those distillations were too often inconsistent. Blending them, it occurred to John, was the trick to creating a whiskey that stood up to the test of time.
Today, Johnnie Walker is the world’s largest and most prominent whiskey brand despite being a blend. It’s beloved by celebrities and world leaders, and the photographers who surround them are all too eager to capture the bottles in their hand.
You’ll find that Red offers a stronger taste of alcohol than Black Label does, which is smoother and a shade of deep amber. Red and Black Label are the two most popular of JohnnieWalker’s blends because they are more price friendly.
But you’ll also find two more blends lying between Black and the premium Blue labels. When Alexander II created a recipe to celebrate the centenary of his family’s company, he was thwarted by the shortage that occurred after the Great War.
Gold Label is an attempt to bring it back and features 15 single malts aged at either 15 or 18 years. Johnnie Walker provides its insight into what notes and profiles drinkers should pull from the Bluebell blend.
The taster for the whiskey Exchange, one of the foremost retailers in the UK, says that the nose is smooth and silky with nutty notes like unsalted peanuts, Brazil nuts, desiccated coconut, and the syrupy taste of flapjacks. The silkiness carries through into the palate where you’ll encounter a spicy first sip with the full body that you’d expect from a Seaside product.
The price should reflect what the owner did to earn that bottle by searching high and low or biding their time. Yes, you can buy JohnnieWalkerBlueLabel in a premium liquor store or easily order it online.
Its rareness comes from it being a treat; something you buy for an esteemed colleague of 30 years, to toast a significant life milestone, or celebrate a once in a lifetime success. Sometimes, a Bluebell is the only thing that will do, and there’s no point in fighting over it, particularly if your opponent isn’t a big scotch drinker.
Each of these offers the option to save upwards of $100 and get a dram that non-regular drinkers wouldn’t be able to pick out in a blind taste test. Typically, those people are on the lookout for an experience that blows their mind and is worth every last penny.
The smoothness that comes with a blend doesn’t always appeal to single malt and scotch drinkers. The examples provided above offer a similar experience in a single malt bottle for a far more palatable price.
If you want to indulge in the experience of drinking a bottle of whiskey that set you back $300, then don’t fight it. Once discontinued, the brand recently renewed Green Label, so finding a bottle should be more straightforward than it once was.