We recently went on a trip to China and as I was wandering around the duty free store at JFK, I saw something new in the Johnnie Walker area of the store. I normally don’t drink Johnnie Walker, I tend to stick to the single malts, but my dad is a fan and he picked up a few bottles of Johnnie Walker Double Black (mostly to give as gifts to relatives).
Johnnie Walker Double Black is blend that starts with Black Label and Master Blender Jim Beveridge “takes it to an unexplored territory.” The goal was to add more smoke, as they describe it – “hand-selecting a number of whiskies defined by hints of smoldering charcoal, crisp ash and burnt timber, we barreled our blend to mature in deep-charred old oak casks.”
My experience with Black Label is extremely limited so I wouldn’t be able to tell you the difference but I enjoyed the Double Black. On the nose, you get a lot of smokiness and dried fruit which reminds you of an Islay but doesn’t quite go that far. On the palate, it’s much sweeter than you’d expect, with lots of vanilla. The finish it quite smooth with no bite.
It was originally available only through duty free but now, apparently, it’s available everywhere for a limited time (and it also comes in a beautiful box).