A JW blended whisky review on this blog?! Yes, why not?
Actually, this is not your average JW blended whisky as It’s a special release and bottled at a nice Premium Strength of 51% abv. This whisky is one out of three released to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of perhaps the best-known whisky brand internationally. Why 51% you ask? well – The blend’s unique strength is similar to that of the Old Highland Whisky sold back then.
I was lucky enough to get this bottle with Dr. Nick Morgan’s book about JW’s history – “A long stride”, released earlier this year.
John Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend, 51% abv, £55
Nose: Quite fragrant and big (and not surprisingly if we remember this one’s filled at 51%), with spices, along a sweet dried fruit backbone, peppery and gingery with hints of Marzipan, and apple crumble, as well as a wee touch of smoke.
Palate: Oily, and mouthcoating with more of the sweet & spicy notes upfront with toffee, some sugar, stewed apples in golden syrup, more baking spices with cinnamon, ginger, and a certain nutty feeling as well, joined by the dried fruit we’ve enjoyed on the nose. All this engulfed with a sweet malty front, and then some peat and a smoky touch as well.
Finish: Pepper, ginger powder, and dry wood combine to form a nice medium-length finish, with a bitter cocoa / Marzipan ending.
Conclusion: A rather lovely blend from JW, with enough complexity and flavors to make this special edition one of the best released of this blended whisky range. I bet they put some older ingredients here, as it feels rounder and much older than regular JWs at this price range… A very good one indeed. also good VFM.