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Johnnie Walker Double Black Blended Whisky Impressions


What is it?

Distillery: Johnnie Walker 
Name: Double Black 
Make: Blended Scotch Whisky 
Extra Info: Marketed as "...created in the style of Johnnie Walker Black Label but with a rich, more intense, smokier flavour." Johnnie Walker Double Black commands an extra 11% premium over the Black Label which in whisky terms, is really not a lot of money. I suspect that the extra richness and smokiness come from a higher proportion of Caol Ila whisky being used in the blend, but cask selection could have also played a part; since the Double Black recipe is not public knowledge, I can only guess.

Why did I buy it?

I received a bottle of Johnnie Walker Double Black as a house warming present and after tasting it, I am glad that I did. It's not something I would have picked up off the shelf myself, but it presented a good opportunity to taste it along side the Johnnie Walker Black Label.

What did I think of it?

Presentation: The same iconic narrow square-sided bottle but this time with black tinted glass and it is the bottle colour that makes it stand out next to it's slightly cheaper sibling.

Appearance: Pretty much exactly the same bright gold colour as the Black Label and also bottled at 40% ABV. 

Aroma: Noticeably smokier on the nose than the Black Label, but nowhere near Islay single malt levels. Mossy, earthy notes and faint vanilla. Although 'sweet' is a flavour not an aroma, there are hints of something sweet underneath.

Flavour: Surprisingly good. Very smooth and creamy, buttered toast with plenty of charcoal and sweet porridge perhaps with some honey drizzled on top. The smoke is there, but not overpowering. I can drink this neat without issue. 

Finish: Medium length finish with a spicy tingle that slowly fades. Inoffensive.

Would I buy it again?

Yes, Johnnie Walker Double Black is a great tasting and great value blend. Suitable for drinking neat and with ice or however you take it. It won't appeal to someone who dislikes smoky whisky but if you appreciate a little peat and are looking for a cheaper blended alternative for cocktails or drinking with ice and/or a mixer on hot summer nights, look no further than Johnnie Walker Double Black; a surprisingly good blended Scotch whisky. 

Disclaimer: I do not claim to have the nose and palate of a Master Sommelier, however, I am working to train my senses to better identify whisky aromas and flavours. Consider all my whisky 'Impressions' to be a work in progress and I hope to come back to each of them in the future to see if I notice anything different. Most importantly, I'm not just throwing around random aromas, flavours and adjectives for the hell of it; I am trying really hard to critically describe each whisky I taste - WhiskyDad.


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