Hello and welcome to a particularly momentous edition of booze reviews. I am the man called Justice, and I am happy. On our final night together at college we decided to celebrate by purchasing what I would venture to call the King of Blended Scotches: Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Now up until this point I was the only one who’d tried this scotch previously, so this time I was determined to put on my most critical booze reviews face and make certain that I didn’t give it any breaks.
This thing makes monocles and tophats wish they had more class.
I love scotch, but don’t let that fool you ladies and gentlemen that does not mean that I will bias myself on this rare occasion. No I feel that at times like this it is most important for me to live up to my name.
In the Buffalo Lounge we all appreciate a good whisky, especially a good scotch whisky. Johnnie Walker Blue Label blended scotch whisky is a very high shelf brand blend scotch whisky that we were all eager try. Let me just say now that as much as we did our best not to be seduced by the mystique of this rare whisky and to remain objective, it was truly a challenge to give this scotch anything but our highest ratings.
When we got this treat back to the Buffalo lounge we found that it was packaged in a box inside another box. Inside that second box was this:
Beautiful I know. Now normally here’s where I’d talk about what my opinion of this scotch was, but in all honesty words fail me. This scotch tasted beyond amazing, its after tasted was near perfect, and it was presented beautifully. In fact the only place where it was flawed was in its incredibly high price, but what can I say? For a scotch like this $200+ dollars isn’t unreasonable.
Now here is what this scotch has to say for itself, but I warn you, it’s a bit long winded.
What they say: (Gallery for Images, with transcript of text below.)
What they say: “Johnnie Walker Blue Label is blended to recreate the authentic taste and character of some of the earliest whisky blends created in the 19th century, giving it a rich peaty taste combined with a smooth, distinctly malty flavor that will appeal to the most expert palate.
The Blue Label blend echoes those early pioneering days, when Johnnie Walker would select a small number of whiskies in his own local shop, in order to create an outstanding blend for the specific taste of a highly valued customer. Specially selected from the finest and rarest of the Walker reserves, each individual whisky used in the creation of the Blue Label blend is matured long in its cask until it reaches the peak of its perfection. Few whiskies are allowed the time to acquire such depth and complexity of taste.
This is why Johnnie Walker Blue Label has been hailed as a masterpiece of the blender’s art.
John Walker began selling whiskies in his Kilmarnock grocer’s shop in 1820 and quickly established a reputation for excellence.
Since then, the Jonnie Walker family of unique whiskies have become the best sellers throughout the world, with an unsurpassed reputation for quality. Only the highest quality ingredients – pure Scottish spring water – so essential to the flavour, and the best malted barley, are used in the creation of the Blue Label blend. The addition of the full bodied robust whiskies of the Highlands contribute to the distinctive flavour.
Distillation takes place in pot stills of beaten copper, each sufficiently individual to impart a unique flavour to the whisky of the distillery. In cool,dark warehouses, the whiskies mature slowly in oak barrels. During these years they acquire varying flavours and colours from the wood. The traditional character of the blend demands the selection of specific barrels which help to give Johnnie Walker Blue Label its unique and distinctive taste.
It is this combination of elements which give Blue Label its traditionally mature, rich peaty taste and a character to match that of the earliest Walker blends.
Small wonder that Alexander, son of John Walker in 1888, proudly asserted “our blend cannot be beat”.
To celebrate its origins, Blue Label is packaged in the traditional blue green Walker bottle – a recast of the original – and with the now famous slanting label. In addition the original design of the cork stopper with seal has been used for this distinctive whisky which echoes the distinguished heritage of the Johnnie Walker supplies are strictly limited and so each bottle is individually numbered.”
Honestly with any other drink I’d be saying this was pure unmerited wank…but here, I think they might actually deserve an entire book just to say how awesome they are. Don’t take my word for it though; take my word along with the words of the other people that drank it:
Taste: 10 – There’s like 17 different flavors going on. Very complex, and best of all they transition into one another beautifully. Buffalo – “It’s like tasting the rainbow, but the rainbow is scotch. That’s the most beautiful sight ever.” We very seriously considered having an 11. On the basis that this is better than a 10 which we’ve often said must be akin to an orgasm.
Aftertaste: 8.75 – Even after you’ve swallowed it the flavor keeps changing as it goes down your throat. The final aftertaste though is comparable to Black Label which is good for both, but it’s not hugely above.
Burn/Smooth: 9.75 – What burn? There was a burn? There’s a gentle warmness that massages your throat.
Aroma: 9 – “Justice looks happy. This scotch softly penetrates your nose with it’s beautiful smell. It smells like golden heaven.”
Honesty: 10 – It has a little rope to tear off the label. Class. It comes in a box in a box with velvet and a little booklet. This things costs 200 dollars and is the pinnacle of status symbols. You find a member of the opposite sex who likes scotch and tell them you have a bottle of this and you’re willing to share – they’re already naked. This is so refined and classy we have to give it a perfect 10.
On the Rocks: 9.875 – Now most people think adding rocks to scotch ruins or dilutes it. They are wrong, the addition of ice or a bit of water opens up the flavor of the scotch, and with single malts it really does. This however because it’s blended rather than getting that fantastic layer of flavors this truly blends them into one. Don’t get me wrong that one is fantastic – I mean this is damn close to 10, but it’s not the “11″ of the taste without.
Value: 5.5 – We can’t hide the fact that this costs $200, and in way we wouldn’t wish it to be $20 anyway. Let’s face it most people who drink their crappy Smirnoff and Jim Beam don’t deserve this. Which is why we gave it above a five – it isn’t a bad value, but you do pay for what your getting.
Google Shop Average: $200
William Henri Neve the IV: 9.5
Swetta Vest: Sadly, not a scotch drinker. Some people just can’t be helped.
Metric Score: 62.875/70 |+| Metric Average: 8.98 |+| Reviewer Average: 9.25
Final Thoughts: “Damn. Is it over already?”
Editor’s Note: So I’m here again this week, last week we had the worst thing we’ve reviewed all year and here we have the best. Ladies and gentlemen nothing even comes close to the score of this besides the Russian smuggled classified vodka So I know you see an 8.98 and think wait even Blue Label isn’t a perfect score? While yes our scores are a bit higher they are mostly based on the metrics. We have a very harsh seven metrics and to be honest I doubt if anything well ever gain a perfect “10″ across the board. This is how we grade we don’t curve – even if we want to. Even doing this review we seriously considered giving the Taste an 11, and know in our hearts it is. At $200, and an aftertaste that can’t compare to the original taste this isn’t perfect though.
Screw perfection though, long live this scotch, and god bless Johnnie Walker.