Thanks to @RianC for this sample of a 1980s Johnnie Walker Black Label.
An interesting nose on this. Breakfast cereal, hint of smoke, white pepper and some wood sourness. It may be my imagination but I can actually pick out the Talisker component of JWB on the nose.
Thin mouthfeel. The smoke is evident immediately on the palate. Some pepper, a malty bread note, sour citrus fruits. With the development it becomes quite creamy and there are buttered crumpets. Strangely I can also pick out one of the component malts on the palate, this time Cragganmore.
Quite a long finish. Becomes wood sour.
(Just a few drops of water added as this is 40% abv)
With the addition of a little water a saltyness emerges on the arrival and the development becomes a bit more drawn out with a new red apple note.
Johnnie Walker Black Label was the Scotch that first piqued my interest nearly 20 years ago. I used to always have a bottle in the cabinet. I most recently had a bottle 2 or 3 years ago and was disappointed. I decided not to go back to it.
The difference in quality between this JWB and the modern one is clear. This is much better. Both more frutier and more smoky. If this was available in shops for £30 I'd always have a bottle open and another in the stash!