Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

Johnnie Walker Gold Label ReserveIt seems that the use of single malts in cocktails has finally shaken loose a few of the world’s whisky drinkers and opened them up to a new level of blended whisky, one that offers an extremely smooth finish and an interesting complexity. Coupled with the strength of the Asian whisky market. It’s not hard to see why Johnnie Walker has just bought this new product to the market for Christmas.

The Gold Label Reserve is premium from the start. Well boxed and with a heavy foil closure, it delivers on a great ritual opening the cap for the first time. The shadow moulding of Johnnie walking is raised from a heavy and nicely designed piece of glass and filled with a great color of liquid. One tiny misstep before the whisky hit my lips, one of those annoying anti refilling device thingies but it works well once you give it a shake.

The tasting notes talk of vanilla and honey and they’re there along with the expected Walker smoothness, especially when you take it simply, over ice.

I mentioned a drink before that I think suits the new arrival beautifully, The Stengah. The drink harks back to a time when the British had an Empire, not a soccer marketing franchise stretching around the world. An administrative¬†bureaucracy¬†forced on people’s left many hours free to be filled with tennis, mixed race love affairs and grain spirits from mid afternoon.

The Stengah.

Fill a highball glass with ice, add whisky to taste and fill the glass with soda.

The drink opens up the flavour of the spirit and the length and ice in the drink make it a lovely way to spend an afternoon. I might even try and shake it up into something later today.

Scotch isn’t my beverage of preference, but I really like this. It goes on sale tomorrow, and at $120 it would make a great gift. Diageo owns the brand, so you can probably expect distribution to be reasonably wide.