Johnnie Walker Gold Label, The Centenary Blend
40% ABV/80 Proof
What the Distillery Says:
Johnnie Walker Gold Label was blended to celebrate the first 100 years of the House of Walker in 1920. A well-kept secret, it’s only been available outside the company since the 1990s. It has a distinctly smooth, sweet and luxurious character, with a stylish elegance and refined quality.
Gold Label is crafted using whiskies such as Clynelish for a honeyed flavor and creamy texture yet still retaining the signature Johnnie Walker smokiness.
With its rich gold color and old-gold glints, it reveals a full, round, deep nose. There are notes of soft raisins and toffee, fresh malt and light cream – Gold Label is as enticing as it is sensuous.
Its palate is rich and broad with full malt flavors and honeyed spices with almonds and marzipan, which leads to a distinctive creaminess.
Cardhu provides strong yet smooth malt and oak flavors. Extra-mature grain whiskies deliver some of the lingering sweetness, while Clynelish from the northern Highlands is responsible for the unusual aromatic creaminess. The finish is multidimensional and satisfyingly long.
What Richard Says:
Nose: Fresh woodchips added to a fire.
Palate: Slightly sweet with hints of shortbread cookies and mild oak. No water with this one.
Finish: Short and crisp. This is a whisky that gets the heck out of Dodge.
Comments: Gold Label is actually recommended by Diageo to be served out of the freezer. I guess given the muted flavor the chill doesn’t have much to hide. I know this is Matt’s favorite of the Johnnie Walker blends but I’ve never really taken to it. It’s very mild and easily approachable but there’s nothing there to make me specifically want a glass of Johnnie Gold. I do think that overall it stands out because it’s not offensive and shows a great balance similar to Dewar’s Signature. On a side note, I find Gold Label to be a great palate cleanser to prep me for tasting other whiskies.
Rating: Stands Out
What Matt Says:
Nose: caramel, smoke, orchard fruit, light zesty citrus
Palate: Heavier sherry influence than younger Johnnies; dark berries, smokey sweetness
Finish: Lingering traces of peat smoke and brine
Comments: Wow! Richard and I could not disagree more. Perhaps its because the sample I sent over was the last drops of a bottle that was open for a while. I think this is the best JW has to offer. It’s complex and bold, but smooth.
Rating: Must Try
Overall Rating: Stands Out