My beloved whisky geeks, this is a blend. Yes, i know. It’s not a single cask from a long gone Japanese distillery, or bottled at cask strength after being matured in an obscure wine cask touched by the queen of Sheba, but I bet more people will ever be drinking this whisky than any of the past 20 I have reviewed in the past month. You can not hide from it, JW is a best selling whisky, and as such, i am very happy to be reviewing this new release today, only a few day after it’s official release to duty free shops around the world. I would bore you with the PR or claims of how luxuries and exotic this one is, so let’s get going into dramming. Facts : it’s going to be $95 at duty free shops, NAS , and a part of the “Explorerer’s Club” series (the first one being the spice road which i have yet to try). Here’s a nice Video you can view. Now let’s get on with the dramming.
Nose: Starts rather sweet with a lot of vanilla and some sherry influence. Fruity too: banana, bits of mango and candied ginger. Wee smoke and earthy peat that reminds me a bit of the black label. However this one is richer and fruitier.
Palate : continuing the fruity nose with some raisins, sweet pineapple, spices and a hint of peat smoke, and sherry goodness with quite a bit of charred wood cask and pepper.
Finish: malty with some peat smoke that lingers. Medium.
Surprisingly, this is a nice dram, with a lot more fruit and exotics than the Black label or the Gold label versions. While staying sweet and fruity it does conserve it’s smoky and peaty edge (don’t expect a lot of those, but a bit is nice). It’s a solid dram and quite enjoyable as such, being very approachable and middle of the way sort of dram. The only down side i see is the price, which is a bit steep for a NAS at $95, you can get a lot of very good malts, and other blends at your duty free. If you’re a Johnnie fan looking for something different, It might be a good idea to pick one up, or as a gift to someone who appreciated JW as a premium gift.
official sample provided by Diageo