Review: Johnnie Walker Wine Cask Blended Scotch
Owned by Diageo, Johnnie Walker Blender's Batch Wine Cask Blend Blended Scotch Whisky was distilled and matured in Scotland and bottled at 40% ABV.
AT A GLANCE
Brand Owner: Diageo
Distillery Unknown Scottish Distilleries
Still Type: Column & Pot Stills
Spirit Type: Blend of Scottish Grain and Malt Whiskies
Age Statement: NAS
Strength: 40% ABV
For over 100 years Johnnie Walker has been making renowned Blended Scotch Whisky. For much of that time Johnnie Walker was represented by its Red and Black label expressions and in more recent years Johnnie Walker expanded their color series to include Double Black, Green, Gold, Platinum, and Blue Labels. Most of these blends played with ratios of grain and malt, more peat or less peat, and the maturity of the whisky. While each color had a distinct flavor profile they are all basically in the same wheelhouse.
However, around 2007, Johnnie Walker's Master Blender Jim Beveridge began an experiment, maturing some of their whisky in barrels that previously held other wines and spirits. Blender Aimée Gibson, came upon some of these barrels and created a unique blend of Scottish grain and malt whiskies, some of which included whiskies aged in wine barrels. The Blender's Batch Wine Cask Blend is the sixth experiment in this series, and it was first released in September 2017.
Nose: The nose is very pleasant and inviting with notes of vanilla and marmalade with a touch of nectarines and sweet cherries.
Palate: On the palate there is an explosion of fruit with notes of sweet orange, nectarines, plum, and a hint of vanilla balance out with oak tannins.
Finish: The finish medium dry and while initially it is very warm, the warmth quickly fades and leaves the lasting notes of sweet white nectarines, with a touch of oak, vanilla, and a flavor reminiscent of a fruity Riesling.
Conclusion: This is a really fruity and approachable Johnnie Walker that mellows out nicely with a little ice to cut the heat from the alcohol. Overall, it is a very nice addition to the traditional Johnnie Walker lineup and it demonstrates how much character can come through the cask selection. For less than $30 this is a deal and one of the best new, and affordable whiskies of 2017.