So as those of you might recall we’ve previously had another entry from the Explorer’s Club Collection – The Spice Road. However as shown we had 2 slightly different takes one by The Buffalo, and the other Justice. Now historically Justice has been a lot more forgiving in scotch reviews which was shown in his entry. We therefore decided for this top-tier entry to meet up and discuss as a group.
Sadly what we got was a sugary almost cognac like whiskey that wanked so terribly in it’s own projected opulence. While there is some good craftmanship going on here, this is not for an actual gentleman or as they claim ‘a king’ but for someone more Trumpian, someone who wants to appear as a king.
What they Say: “The Royal Route, the ancient trading route from the Far East to the Mediterranean, was famed for bringing the luxuries of the world to the hands of Kings. From rare silks, to diamonds and pearls, they all travelled this majestic road. Inspired by the exoticism and majesty of these rare commodities, our master blender has crafted a unique blend, full of deep evocative flavours, yet beautifully balanced and undeniably refined. Matured in the finest hand selected oak casks from our Reserve cellars, this whisky is fit for any King.”
Editor’s Note: There’s actually more, but it’s all reiteration and we’ve saved ourselves writing it.
Taste: 4.67 – Very sweet and that’s all you get out of it. Its not sugary, more cognac.
Aftertaste: 7.17 – It finally comes a refreshing whiskey it opens up with a complex set of malt peat etc. It has a nice taste and we like it.
Burn/Smooth: 8.83 – The sugaryness leads to a very smooth overall feeling, and the lingering tingling warmth it makes the aftertaste better. It’s not syrupy, and it’s damn smooth.
Aroma: 6.67 – It reminds us of a cognac not very oppressive, but you can feel it, we enjoy it. Lends to the theme.
Honesty: 5.83 – They wank simply far too much, and while this the top of the road collection its a bit too much. We have to include the booklet, that being said this is very nitpicky on a Johnnie Walker, but you can go too far. The overall look is great, but for god’s sake – shut up.
W/ Rocks: 5.83 – It has removed the sweetness and added burn somehow? It made it more warm and scotch that is nice, but it’s almost a totally different scotch. You should do this scotch neat. Note: Will had a sore throat so the presence of burn here hurt this a bit more.
Value: 5.17 – So it does vary, as others at this level often do by ~40 bucks. That being said on average it is more than blue label; however it is such a good whisky neat that overall by most metrics it is not a bad value, but its not better then blue label
Google Shop Average: $220
William Henri Neve the IVth: 6.5
Metric Score: 44.17/70 |+| Metric Average: 6.31 |+| Reviewer Average: 6.83
Final Thoughts: Having neat was great, it made us happy. The issue is whether you would buy this again. Which the answer is quite unlikely. While Justice was able to get this for closer to $150 based on where he was in the Dominican, but for the rest of us there is no way this competes with Blue Label.