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Johnnie Walk Double Black

Just for a change . . .

1 772

@RianCReview by @RianC

14th Oct 2017

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    72

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The standard Black Label was always my whisky of choice after a few beers, usually swamped with ice and knocked back pretty quickly. Oh how I've changed ;)
I still think the 12 BL is a solid blend but one to catch in the sales as it's gone a bit pricey. In that vein, I saw this on sale for £25 recently and took the plunge, just for a change, you understand?

On the nose it's lovely, actually. A peat note that reminds me of Caol Ila, surprisingly, with lots of charred smoky notes. A little sweetness and fruitiness is there as well. No grain is overtly present but probably adding to the sweet notes.

Taste wise though is where it starts to falter. My first sip was so uninspiring I thought I'd missed my mouth. OK, there's some slight sweet and sour tang that develops into a bitterness. The peat notes seem to have flown away on the sea breeze. What is there isn't unpleasant to be fair, there's just not a lot going on.

Finish is fairly short, bitter tannins and perhaps a slight tang of peat residue clinging on for dear life. A little salty note?

Overall, it's not bad - it's not! - it's just not that inspiring and you feel let down after the promise of the nose. Would I have paid the asking of £40? Hmm! What I will say is that I'm glad i got this on offer and £25 seems about right for this. I rarely mix whisky, maybe the odd Old-Fashioned or a more budget blend on ice but something tells me this would go well in coffee if that's your thing? Perhaps when the cold sets in I'll make a flask to take out on the golf course and top it up with some of this. I'll be getting the 12 in future.

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7 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

Johnnie Walker Double Black sometimes just makes me laugh...peat and smoke,...and nothing else! Funny, actually, sort of a commercial version of liquid smoke. That's from one I had 5 years ago. I haven't had any JW Double Black recently.

In the right mood JW Double Black is highly entertaining and enjoyable. In the wrong mood Johnnie Walker Double Black could just seem annoying. @RianC, thanks for your review!

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

I picked one up at LAX duty free about 4 or 5 years ago. What I actually wanted was a litre of Ardbeg Ten. There was one on the shelf without the box marked at $51. It was the last one and they could not sell it to me unless they could find the box, which they couldn't. Boarding time was getting closer so I grabbed the Double Black for $40. First off I had to dig out the one way ball from the neck so I could pour it without making a mess. I tasted it a few times over the next couple of months, got the same Liquid Smoke impression as @Victor, and ended up giving the rest away. I should have been a bit more insistent that they sell me the Ardbeg. LAX has possibly the most useless duty free on the planet.

2 years ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

Thanks for the comments, Gents! Liquid smoke, that sums it up nicely.

2 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Nosebleed's former neighbour raved about Double Black and said it was almost as good as the Blue.

Now I've tasted the black, and the blue, and to be fair I didn't note too much of a difference between them. Thankfully he was very happy to pour us the DB, and I was as unimpressed as with the others.

2 years ago 0

@Frost
Frost commented

I picked a bottle of this up years ago at the airport and it had that annoying ball stopper in it too. That nonsense had to be removed with the Swiss Army Knife post-hate LOL

I did try this one again about a year ago and it just disappointed, it had this young spirity burn that distracted from the smoke aspect. Maybe the grain is too young. I prefer JW Black 12.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

"My first sip was so uninspiring I thought I'd missed my mouth."

Something tells me that JW will not be stealing that for a slogan anytime soon.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@MadSingleMalt I must have missed that. Well put. Definitely beats Lambertus though... in that case you wish it missed your mouth...

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

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