This is the bottom end of the core lineup from Johnnie Walker blends. It’s NAS and bottled at 40% ABV.
Nose: Candied apples and pecans with a harsh turpentine note leaking through with some motor oil and artificial oak.
Palate: Very tasteless – almost like diluting rubbing alcohol down to 40%. There’s maybe a hint of oak in there, but mostly devoid of anything.
Finish: Again, nothing really here which makes sense given the lack of flavor on the palate.
Rating: 50/100 – Hard to score a whisky like this, but I figured 50 was fair as it’s not something I want to spit out as it really has no flavor. I can imagine you’d only buy a bottle of this as a mixer, but even then, you’re probably better suited buying something with at least a little flavor I would think.
Value for the money: I believe this retails around $20, and I just can’t think of a reason to buy it (except maybe as a gag gift for a scotch lover?).
This was originally introduced as a duty-free expression 5 years ago or so. It’s similar to the Black label, but has more peaty/heavily charred casks involved in the blend. It’s bottled at 40% ABV.
Nose: Isopropyl notes with a very thick hospital/clinic type note to it – tennis balls, artificial oak, and lemon juice round out a bizarre and generally unpleasant nose.
Palate: Burnt oak, fresh grain cereal, and raw flour – quite bland overall without any of the stronger citrus notes I typically find in JW.
Finish: Really nothing left here except maybe the slightest hint of oak.
Rating: 61/100 – The nose was a pretty big turn off for me off the bat, and sadly it didn’t get much better (although those clinical notes faded thankfully).
Value for the money: I think these retail around $40 or so, and I would pass at pretty much any price.
This is a blended malt that is part of Johnnie Walker’s core range (after returning from its hiatus from the lineup a year or two ago) which carries a 15 year age statement and is bottled at 43% ABV.
Nose: Pronounced citrus notes with a smoke tinged musty oak, bread dough, saltwater, and damp sawdust.
Palate: Strong oak notes here with buttermilk, lemon curd, and a salty, slightly nutty malt. Surprised to find the oak so bold given the relatively young age statement.
Finish: Oak still in the forefront turning a bit bitter with some yeast and bitter orange peels.
Rating: 79/100 – Not a bad blend, but somewhat out of balance in my opinion.
Value for the money: I think these retail around $50 which isn’t too bad a price, but I personally wouldn’t buy one at that price.
This is part of the core Johnnie Walker range of blends – it’s the next step up from the Red Label in terms of price. It’s a blend of around 40 whiskies that were each aged at least 12 years. It’s bottled at 40% ABV.
Nose: Subtle vanilla with dominant citrus notes – mainly lemon juice and tangerine. Some pastry dough notes emerge after a bit, but otherwise the citrus reins supreme here.
Palate: Strong tangerine up front turning into subtle oak and vanilla with orange rinds.
Finish: Fades quickly leaving only slight bitter orange peel and vanilla.
Rating: 72/100 – I can see why JW blends make for a lot of people’s first scotch/blends as they are cheap, and easily drinkable. It’s not bad necessarily, but for a non-beginner, there’s not much here to get excited about.
Value for the money: This typically retails for $30, so I can’t really complain about the price too much. It’s good for someone on a tight budget, or maybe for someone who wants to try an approachable/inoffensive blend.
This is an 18 year age stated blend in the standard Johnnie Walker range. It’s bottled at 40% ABV.
Nose: Saltwater and lemon juice mixed with clementines, subtle smoke, and dark chocolate.
Palate: Funky oak, a bit of bitter cocoa, and a plethora of citrus juices.
Finish: Toasted oak with raw grain and orange peel – fades quickly.
Rating: 78/100 – I can’t help but think the low proof really holds this one back as it’s very faint all around with the notes being dialed down several notches. Easy to sip as a result which probably plays best to the target market for these blends.
Value for the money: This retails for around $100, and it’s an easy pass at that price.