Ah, an older edition of the Johnnie Walker Gold Label, which means this is a version that contains a ridiculous amount of Clynelish. My buddy Arno was looking for one of these, so I got it at an auction for him. My ‘commission’ was a generous dram.
Very interesting mix of beeswax, honey, ferns and guimauve with a soft metallic touch, as if it’s poured from a can (not an off-note!) reaches my nostrils. Hint of melon, banana and something floral. Dandelions? Soft hint of ginger and nutmeg, even soft note of cinnamon. Woodsmoke! I confess: this smells younger than it’s 18 years, but is very good.
Silky soft mouthfeel, wonderfully waxy pointing in the direction of Clynelish. Honey, pepper, caramel, apples and pears, maple syrup, melon. Again nutmeg and some fennel seeds. Sponge cake and vanilla. Definitely contains a peaty malt, for a discreet but wonderful trace of smoke develops. This is quite intense and very interesting.
The medium long finish offers sweetness first, but soon mildly drying tannins of subtle oak appear.
Those who claim that JW doesn’t have any good stuff should give this a try! It’s so good that I actually got me a bottle of my own at the very next auction, bottled in the same ear. Hurray!