Johnnie Walker Double Black Blended Scotch Whisky
$35 to $45
What the Blender Says:
Taking cues from the unparalleled flavors of Johnnie Walker Black Label, Master Blender Jim Beveridge struck out to craft a blend that would take the intensity of Black to unexplored territory. He started on Scotland’s vast shores, rediscovering the powerful west coast and subtle east coast scotches integral to today’s world-renowned Black Label. After hand-selecting a number of whiskies defined by hints of smoldering charcoal, crisp ash and burnt timber, we barreled our blend to mature in deep-charred old oak casks. The result is an unquestionably smokier, more intense experience, but with deep, dark roots in a rich blend that changed the world: Johnnie Walker Black Label. Simply put, it is Black, amplified.
Blended to break the rules, Double Black boasts an edgy confidence in flavor that separates it from its balanced relative, Johnnie Walker Black Label. It is not simply a darker version of Black Label, for it cannot be defined by color alone. Nevertheless, the two blends are intrinsically linked. As any discriminating drinker can see, they share DNA – in their smoky nose, unmistakable spice and slight tones of dried fruit.
But the similarities end there. With this blend, the exclusive taste trumps all. It’s no wonder whisky critics and aficionados have snatched up the limited number of bottles produced, making it even more elusive and mysterious. But rest assured, the “mischievous brother” won’t be gone for long – just remember that flavor of this intensity takes time and great care to craft.
While its finish will undoubtably linger, Double Black itself will not. Its stunningly small run is characteristic of a blend best suited to the most ambitious and adventurous Johnnie Walker enthusiasts, eager to explore another side of Black. But our Double Black locator (above) will make sure you’ve secured a bottle of your own before this rare blend, like a billow of smoke, quietly fades away.
What Richard Says:
Nose: There is a nice smokiness but it’s much more refined than I expected reading the PR on this one. There are also back notes of stewed fruit and a wisp of brine. This reminds me of sitting by the smoker on a friend’s back porch.
Palate: Surprisingly sweet then settling into a mellow peat with a cereal maltiness.
Finish: Charcoal, old campfires.
Comments: I shouldn’t doubt an iconic blender in charge of an iconic blend range but for some reason I thought this was going to suck. I’m not a huge fan of JW Black. It’s not bad it’s just not as complex as I like my whisky now. That said, JW Double Black is very enjoyable and I would have no problem going back again and again. This takes all the good things about JW Black and cranks it up without missing a step. Impressive, but if you’re Jim Beveridge I guess it’s just another day at the office.
Rating: Stands Out