Johnnie Walker double black whisky: tasting notes and review of a super peaty dram
The Johnnie Walker double black whisky is a powerful and smoky distillate in which peat takes center stage. We tell you immediately what for many is a defect but which, for peat lovers, is a great value: it is a Scotch whisky that hits hard and is not suitable for those with a delicate palate or those unaccustomed to peaty drams.
The further refinement in heavily burned oak barrels smokes it violently, leaving no respite. If you like pure and complex Scottish single malts in the Speyside style, this Johnnie Walker Double Black is not for you. It has been meticulously crafted, right down to the single malt blend and wood aging.Still, overall, it isn’t bad, especially considering it costs 30 euros.
Johnnie Walker double black whisky tasting notes
The smell is like a dark well with a warm, ripe fruit in the middle, surrounded by peat, tar, and sweeter, creamier tones that were put there on purpose to create balance. For this, you will taste vanilla, butter, cream, pastry tones, caramel, and many spices.
The variety is quite good. It is not monotonous; there are also herbaceous and floral traces, orange peel, and pepper, but they are very far away.
As soon as they emerge from the eddy of soot, they are immediately sucked back in again. Do not expect a territorial and aromatically clean whisky, but in any case, it does not disappoint and has its own identity and a well-defined style.
We have focused a lot on perfumes because they are the most suggestive. This light and shadow fresco is moving, stimulating, and has a certain energy to it.
On the palate, however, it is a little more static. It is not exceptionally bright but is affected by overwhelming smoking. It is not intoxicated; it finds its way between peaks of pepper and heat.
The salt of the Talisker and the Caol Ila is there, but the tones are gloomy and sooty. But we repeat that it is a stylistic choice.
Overall, the structure is OK. It is not very balanced; the finish is dominated by ash, but if you are used to the roughness of peat, it is not a problem.
If you are a beginner with peaty drams, it is better to start with a much more docile and readable whisky such as the Johnnie Walker black label, the basic one, which is less structured and fleshy but also much smoother and less frowning.
How Johnnie Walker Double Black is produced: minimum age of whiskeys
The minimum age of the single malts used to make this blended Scotch has not been declared. In this way, the Walker distillery is freer to play with older spirits and others that are also very young and rocky.
After blending peaty and non-peaty whiskeys from the West Coast, like Caol Ila and Talisker from Campbeltown, Islay, and Skye, the whisky is left to rest in a lot of charred barrels to give it deep smoke notes.
28-30 euros: an honest price for a stylized product that is certainly very guided, that winds along a stylistic path heavily marked by forced refinement, but that turns out to be well made and pleasant on the whole.
What cocktails to make with Johnnie Walker double black whisky
While it’s true that overall it’s not a peaty whisky to go crazy for, the story changes when it comes to blending. And this Double Black, thanks to the creamy taste, is great for making great classics like Rusty Nail, Rob Roy, whiskey sour, Penicillin, Gold Rush, or even a simple highball with tea green and soda.