Friday, 2 December 2011

Whisky Night: Johnnie Walker Blue Label

My run of three Scotch events in a fortnight culminated with the DTWC Whisky Night last Saturday. I missed the previous club night and it felt like ages since I'd been to a get together.

The two Matt's have been dabbling with their own home brew. Before we cracked out the whisky Matt C gave me a glass of his Northwest Pale Ale. I really enjoyed the beer and it reminded me of the Samuel Adams I used to drink while I was in New York. If I was in a bar I'd have happily bought another one. I said so, which I think pleased Matt quite a bit!

Club funds had been used to buy a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label for the evening. We started by blind tasting the Blue Label alongside a dram of Johnnie Walker Black Label. The threat being that if we got it wrong we'd be on the cheap stuff all night!

We all managed to guess correctly, but the consensus round the table was that the Johnnie Blue wasn't worth the money. The Blue ($180) was a very smooth whisky. It is a bit of a contradiction. The whisky doesn't have any big flavour characteristics, however, the blend gives it complexity. I would never describe it as boring and it has a very smooth finish.

The Black ($40), to my untrained palate, was similar in many ways. Like it's elder brother there were no big distinguishing flavours. It wasn't as complex or as smooth, with a slightly harsh finish. However, it was still a very drinkable whisky.

I don't think any of us felt the $140 price difference was justified. Astonishingly the Blue Label has recently been reduced from nearly $300 in price! Definitely not a bad whisky and if you want a smooth easy drinker you could do a lot worse. However, if I had $180 to spend it would probably go somewhere a bit more challenging. You wouldn't have caught me writing that two years ago!

A great boys night, aside from the mosquitoes trying to eat us alive on the back deck. Lots of banter and advice on married life!


  1. Methinks you boys need to get down to The Baxter Inn for the next night out ;)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.