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.


All Black

Johnnie Walker Black Label 100 year centenary.Being a kiwi, I’m sorely tempted to launch into a celebration of the All Blacks and their victory over the Australians in the Bledisloe Cup match last weekend. Living in Australia, I know that by and large, no-one cares.

The All Black that this post refers to is the Johnnie Walker centenary edition of their Black Label blended scotch. I’m a big fan of special edition bottles and frankly it’s nice to see a good story coming out of the Diageo owned brand, what with their closure of the Kilmarnock Distillery.

The bottle goes on sale in September and is sure to be a hit in Japan, the opaque black finish mirroring the packaging of the highest quality beef and foodstuffs the land of the rising sun produces.

Harking back to 1909, the bottle should be used to produce Stengahs. A whisky concoction made with half a measure topped long with soda. Popular throughout the British Asian empire, the drink replaces fluid in hot climates without the accompanying dizziness of a drunken spell in the Singapore sun. Start drinking them at eleven in the morning on a hot day and you’ll see what I mean.