#12 blends – day 1 – JW Gold Label Reserve

So what is #12blends?, you ask? It’s really a fun idea and the brainchild of Tom Thomson (check out his blog). Tom is a great guy, and another whisky geek and lover I’ve met online. He thought of this idea where 12 members worldwide (most in the UK, but me Sean from the US) swap different samples of blended whisky / malt. Each of us poured 11 samples and sent them to the other 11 members, so by the end of March we all had a set of 12 blended whiskies. Starting April 1st (which was yesterday), each of us opens a wee sample marked 1..12 and tries to guess what it is. We guess : Producer, Expression, Age (or NAS), ABV%
the scoring will work as follows – 7.5 points for correct producer, 5
points for correct Expression, 2.5 points for correct Age (or stating
NAS if that’s correct) and 2.5 points for ABV there is then a 7.5
points bonus for fully correct making a total of 25 points available
for each dram and a total of 275 points available overall. Every night we must email our guesses to Tom which in place will reveal the whisky later that night.

Cool or what? I am going to blog my note for all (or most ) of these blendjohnnie-walker-gold-label-reserve-blended-whiskys, in our journey to explore new and unknown (and some known) whiskies, blind.

So, here’s the first one. I was really struggling to start with, I knew it had to be fairly young, and the ABV felt like 40%, but i was not sure which brand, and although my first guess was JW (It’s the default in blends for me) , I didnt think it was going to be that obvious, so i gambled on something else (some grouse! stupid me). should have listened to my heart, well next time! It’s all for the fun of it anyways. So i got 5 points, 2.5 for ABV and 2.5 for Age (NAS). Hope these are not the last points i am going to score. this is not easy! Also, i am not going to score those blends here, just give my general notes.

Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, 40% , £40

Nose: Starting with citrus, quite a bit actually,then off to sweeter realms with barley sugars and some smoke.Malt and a hint of toffee &  sherry.

Palate: Spicy with initial a bit of pepper, then some creamy malt and smoke. Rather smooth, and the body is medium.

Finish: Medium with lingering malt, smoke and wee bit of sultana.

All in all a nice blend, and a good start. I’ve had this quite a few times in the past, but evidently, it didn’t leave a mark. It’s a good blend, but a bit expensive IMHO.

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