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Johnnie Walker Blue Label

To borrow from Rantavati, Colors.

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@OnibubbaReview by @Onibubba

5th Jul 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
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On my last trip to OC, CA, I bought a bottle of JW Blue for 139.00. How could I resist? That was nearly half off what I had seen it priced everywhere else. And, I could not bring myself to open it yet. So when I saw a gift box of JW (Red, Black,Gold, Blue) for 60.00, I seized the opportunity.

As I had a few drams of the Green left, I thought why not a quick comparison of all of the old colors.

Red - Nasty. Artificial. Something smells really wrong here and makes me want to vom. Seriously bad. Drain pour whisky.

Black - Not bad. Really. If I was at a bar and this was as good as it got, I could make do. Fairly reminiscent of the Gold. I would never buy a bottle of this. Very average - 75 maybe? It's not shite, but we could do much better.

Gold - Sweet. I could drink this straight, but I would prefer a bit more. I would not turn this whisky down, but I would not buy it. Reminds me a bit of Hibiki 12, but not as nuanced and expressive. Not a bad dram.

Blue - Well,this was the whole point of buying the sampler. BTW, the sampler set cost as much as one 200 ml bottle of Blue, so I guess it it worth it in that regard. Aroma is very nice sweet barley, but not as sweet as the Gold. There is a nice vanilla smoothness that puts the breaks on becoming cloying. It is really quite nice. Almost a bit of peat in the background? Surely not. It is nice. Swirl and swallow. Wow. More wood than I would have expected. No bitterness at all and no drying mouthfeel. And at 40% why should there be? Regardless, very smooth. No bitterness in the short finish. All vanilla and oak. Reminds me of Compass Box Oak Cross, but a bit more robust, and less spicey.

Final thoughts. JW Blue is quite good. It is smooth. Less sweet than I expected, and a good bit more complex as well. The low abv does hamper the overall effect. Is this worth 100+ dollars? Not really. Is it a good blend? Hells yeah. I would not turn this down, and would not have a problem buying another bottle if it were sub 100. But even for the bargain price I paid of 140.00, there are so many single malts I would buy before this.

In conclusion, JW Blue is a very good blend that I would gladly consume if offered. I will likely never buy another bottle. The price is simply not justified. Good, but not GOOD!!!

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Onibubba commented

RE: the title. I was going to make reference to the joke Robert Duvall's character tells Sean Penn in the movie Colors, but decided it might be offensive to some.

Also, forgot to throw the Green Label into the mix: Better than the Gold, not as cloyingly sweet. Quite some burn compared the the Blue though, and nowhere near as smooth. But it seems more complex, and more substantial. The finish of the Green is the best of the bunch. This is obviously the best value of the old range, and arguably, the best tasting.

9 years ago 0

Victor commented

Yes, Johnnie Walker Blue Label would make a great $ 60 to $ 80 bottle. In the meantime I only drink it when offered by others.

9 years ago 0

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