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Johnnie Walker Black Label, Extra Special Old Scotch Whisky.


Johnnie Walker Black Label, Extra Special Old Scotch Whisky.
Bartender believes this is a bottle from the 1970s. It's the older JWs that seem to be more interesting as the general belief is Diageo has fewer blending components and fewer quality components to work with after all this time. Although the recipe for black label, as well as the other labels, is a well guarded secret, the industrial consumer says the two major components are Caol Ila and Cardhu.

Nose: wood polish, boiled lemons, slight asphalt smoke, wood resin, steamed wood vines, almost like Chinese medicine.

Palate: generally smooth, very cool mouthfeel, initial palate is of a watery texture, mid palate is burnt rice, water from boiling rice leftover on the pot, good amount of wood, boiled wood vines, a little earthy, back palate has some smoke develop, light Chinese medicine, a certain type of Chinese tea leaf.

Finish: moderate to long, major burnt rice, a slight oily mouthfeel, Chinese herbs.

They just don't make them like they used to. I wonder whats in this blend... it does a fairly good job of communicating flavor to the drinker and has body in all three phases (nose, palate, finish). Generally sour in nature, the accompanying hints of smoke here and there with some wood juice works well, but not the best of condiments.

Grade: B-

Whiskyfun.com, Serge Valentin, sgp:362, 91 points for 1965 bottling.
Malt maniacs, Serge Valentin, 85 points for 1960s duty free
Thewhiskeywash, Joshua St. John, 83/100 for a current bottle


Image courtesy of Eric Yee.


Eric Yee

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