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Johnny Walker Double Black – Smoky Black

January 14, 2012 Drink No Comments

Over the holidays, I had the great fortune to find the much talked about Johnny Walker Double Black at the local Costco. Now, I’m not that big of a fan of Johnny Walker, or blended Scotches for that matter. Nevertheless, given all the talk and marketing for this whisky, I was curious to see if the hype was justified….

As its name suggests, Double Black is a much more intense version of the Black Label. Or rather, it’s a much smokier experience. Black and Double Black do share the same blend components though, just in different proportions — in an interview, Johnny Walker’s┬áMaster Blender Jim Beveridge shared that in Double Black, the smaller proportion of Cardu‘s fruity and floral whisky is offset by more peatier malts from Islay distillery Caol Ila…. interesting, but makes sense.

…so, is Johnny Walker Double Black worth the hype? In a word, maybe. It is definitely fun to do a Black vs Double Black taste comparison. I see Double Black as kind of a gateway whisky to nudge whisky drinkers into developing a palate for the smokier and polarizing Islay whiskies (i.e. Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin, etc.), and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that! With that said, I do prefer the Double Black for the nose and the taste.

However, because I regularly drink my scotch at cask strength and neat, I found Double Black a bit underwhelming. Nevertheless, it is worth a try.

Link: Johnny Walker

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