A more noble beverage I have not yet tasted.
Too formal? I personally don’t think so. If nothing else when I first tried this scotch while dressed in a suit vest I was probably a bit under-dressed. Today on Booze Reviews ladies and gentlemen, I, Justice, will show you the end of a legacy. That’s right, we’ve finally finished the full spectrum of Johnnie Walker scotches with this very appropriate choice: Johnnie Walker Gold Label.
Some of the more clever (and loyal) among you may have already realized the rather obvious joke about us finishing a rainbow of scotches with a bottle of gold. In reality though, having tried all the others, I personally do not believe there is any scotch more appropriate than this one to finish with. The name ‘Gold Label’ evokes a strong sense of regalia and the scotch inside the bottle maintains that impression.
I’m a scotch fanatic, if you’ve been reading booze reviews long enough, you should know that. Traditionally I’m someone who goes after single malt scotches and typically ignores blends, but after trying gold label I can’t think of too many single malts I wouldn’t pass up to grab a bottle of this again.
Now its been a while since the Booze Reviews Crew had actually sat down at what could be called ‘The Buffalo Lounge’. However, the kind folks over at Nauticon were kind enough to invite us into a setting where we could once again resume our old round table set up and in front of a live audience no less. We had some fun with our reviews and if you were there and are reading this article, big shout out to you for coming out, we love you all for showing support.
Okay, so you’ve heard enough of my rambling, time to get down to the booze (after all that is why you came here isn’t it?). Let’s find out what Johnnie Walker Gold label has to say for itself:
What they say: “Special occasions demand special ingredients to mark the first centenary of John Walker & Sons limited in 1920, the founder’s grandson, Alexander walker, created the recipe for a sublime whisky this master of the art of blending selected exceptionally mature rare whiskies in celebration of the ultimate family occasion; 100 years building a thriving business dedicated to creating whisky of the very highest quality.
Johnnie Walker Gold Label is a rich blend of rare whiskies, each aged for a minimum of 18 years, including the distinctive malt Clynelish deep seductive aromas of soft raisins, coffee, fresh malt and light cream gives way to voluptuous flavours of vanilla, honey, rich fruit, and a trace of light smoke in the long finish. Making it as perfect for a special occasion today as it would have been in 1920.
Blended in the Kildonan hills of the norther highlands, the Clynelish distillery draws its water from a unique source. Gold deposits are released into the water from the local red granite rock. The Origin, perhaps, of the story about Johnnie Walker Gold Label being touched by gold.”
A lot of the time, when a booze talks about itself this much we just put it down as needless wank, but in all honesty, this scotch lives up to every word of what it says. The scotch is rich and smooth whether you put on the rocks or drink it neat, it smells like God’s private lounge and makes you want to drink it before you even open the bottle. It would seem that this scotch is not only the perfect scotch to commemorate a special occasion, but also the perfect scotch to commemorate the end of the relationship between Booze Reviews and Johnnie Walker, since this was a scotch created to commemorate 100 years of Johnnie Walker blends.
I’ve talked up this scotch and the scotch has talked up this scotch, now its time to see how it handles in our metrics, time for some numbers:
Taste: 8.75 – As Justice said the night of “It just gets better tasting with every sip.” This is a fantastic scotch taste and certainly on of your favorites.
Aftertaste: 8.63 – It goes down a little here (and by a little I mean almost not at all.), but it’s more a continuation of the great taste rather than being it’s own complex beast.
Burn/Smooth: 9.00 – Go find a newly minted bar of gold, feel how smooth that is? That’s a good benchline.
Aroma: 8.5 – Just makes you want to drink it, we’re always excited about scotch smells, but this left nothing to want.
Manliness: 8.25 – Being from the Walker Line, this couldn’t get a low score on it’s own, but add in the classiness of Gold Label and it gains a fair amount of points. It lacks the complete package like Blue Label though, and doesn’t have the brute manliness like Double Black.
On Rocks: 8.5 – We didn’t sample this at the panel, but I was lucky enough to visit a hotel bar from work and order myself a glass. It’s certainly comparable in taste, but it was smooth enough as is, and doesn’t really bring out more of the scotch.
Value: 5.38 – This is sort of an odd thing for us, some felt it was a great buy as being only $90 bucks, but others thought to themselves. I’d rather get either 2 Double Blacks, or bite the bullet and get Blue Label. Still though it’s only comparison is Chivas 18yr. And what that lacks in some areas this makes up for wholeheartedly.
Google Shop Average: $89
William Henri Neve the IV: 9.0
King Weeb: 9.0
Metric Score: 57/70 |+| Metric Average: 8.14 |+| Reviewer Average: 8.80
I’ve said most of what I have to say about this scotch. It is by far one of my favorite blends thus far, only Johnnie Walker Blue Label surpasses it. Though, even the word ‘surpasses’ isn’t appropriate. Both scotches are delicious and unique in their own way. If you want a scotch perfect for a special occasion, but don’t want to break the bank for blue label, I cannot think of a single scotch better than Johnnie Walker Gold Label.
P.S. If you were wondering what those things in the main image were? Swords.