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Johnnie Walker Gold Label 18 Year Old

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Johnnie Walker Gold Label 18 Year Old

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Johnnie Walker Gold Label 18 Year Old

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!

@markjedi1 - Bottled in the same ear ... that'll be the Clynelish then laughing

I'm still on alert for an older Johnny Walker Black label. Don't know what it is but old JW stuff really appeals to me. Thanks for the review.

Wow—that is some deep-cut witticism right there. Bravo!


Nose: Light smoke, oak, fruit, brine, with a soft touch of honey. Palate: Follows the nose, some smoke in the opening, oak, apricots, light brine weaving its way through the drink, a touch of honey, apples, cinnamon, ginger. Finish: I get ginger, pepper, light oak and a touch of brine. An amazing blend, better than some of the 18 year old whiskies i have had before with a perfect balance. If you get the chance get a bottle seeing this is discontinued i like it even more.


Johnnie Walker is still the best selling brand in the world. It sells more bottles than all the single malts put together. Hence it is Diageo’s golden goose. But the Red Label is hardly a good blend. Maybe this Gold Label hits the right spot? After all, it is a blend of 15 single malts (with Clynelish in the lead), which have all matured for at least 18 years. It is no longer being produced since 2013.

The nose is rich and expressive, pretty floral and sweet. Loads of honey, dried fruit and a wonderful, albeit somewhat discreet, touch of smoke. Toasted oak. Maple syrup. Heather. A lot more complex than the Blue Label, which surprised me somewhat.

It is a bit oily (just shy of watery) on honey, pastry, dried orange peel with ginger and a pinch of salt. Nice oak. The peat is a bit more pronounced than on the nose and makes this one rather picture perfect.

The finish is medium long and smoky, with the emphasis on orange peel and honey.

This is the best modern Johnnie Walker I have tried so far. Move over, Blue Label! Pity that it is not being made anymore. Hopefully the Platinum is just as good? Thanks, Andreas.

Yes, but is it better than Swing, which is much cheaper. I haven't had the Gold for a while, so I can't make a HTH comparison, but Swing works so well I haven't had the desire to spring for the Gold. If I remember correctly, they have a similar taste profile.

Ive read news about this being stopped production, along with the JW Premier.

So far, ive been seeing new stocks on the shelves at china & other countries. Does this mean Diageo continues to produce this labels for the asian market, without being faithful to the original production factors of the small batch?

I think they are just fooling clients from the far east because phasing out the label will void their chances of making money. (even if the blend is already depleted)


Well actually, a free sample of JW Blue Label whereby the finish lingered for about five miles later was the one that started my quest. Not willing to pay $200 US for Blue Label, I paid $90 US Gold Label 18 Year Old. Having pretty much hated scotch from having too many bad blends in my younger days, my first impression of this was WOW. Slightly floral, lots of flavors too complex to describe, and with just barely enough smoky taste to let you know it is scotch.

Then I found this wonderful website. Then I went on a one month tasting and purchasing quest that led me to 37 candidates counting this one. That is when I realized what the label says, which means that this is basically watered down Clynelish 14 with less floral flavor and more smoke. However, Clynelish 14 runs about $40 less. Will I buy either one again? Not quite. By the way, adding water to a Glenmorangie 10 Year Old Original to bring in down to 40% ABV almost duplicates JW Gold!!! Hmmm!! Bye Bye Blends!

Interesting reverse psychology....you eschew blends , yet you try to emulate them by altering single malts.

Everyone drinks the way the see fit, and if this is what you enjoy then I have no problems, but:

JW black is so close to Blue in taste, why pay more?

I like my single malts to taste like single malts. I like the richness and complexity. I don't particularly go for blends. The exception would be a blended (I can say "vatted" because in Canada we have freedom of expression) malt which retains or adds complexity because it's still 100% malted barley in origin.

I took a few uninteresting malts and vatted them myself ( in a glass bottle). The result was much greater than the sum of the parts

I now realize that the grain neutral spirits in scotch blends is what makes many of us sick from drinking too much. This does not happen with single malts. For this reason, I will never go back to blends except maybe Chivas Regal 18. Then again, there are better tasting and cheaper single malts. Blends are for lowering retail prices and increasing profits. However, finding a really good blend is even more of a challenge than finding a good single malt.

As for altering, yes I thought it would be borderline sacreligous to admit to something like that, but what about jazzing up for example a budget Auchentoshan Classic with a few drops of Ardbeg 10. Both are at opposite ends of the smoke taste. Yes, this in turn makes it a blend of single malts, but with no cheap and sickening grain neutral spirits added. However, by scotch law, all blends must contain grain neutral spirits, which sucks.


This is the bottle that introduced me to the world of whiskies, I remember reading posts and reviews that Johnnie Walker is the biggest selling whisky distributer in the world and I figured lets go big to begin with…….remember I had no idea what I was doing hence an 18 year old whisky to start my palate with. After roughly 5 years of finding my palate and appreciation for whisky here is my review

On the nose there is honey, butterscotch candy, an old sherry cask note, a faint floral….think white rose petals….this note is in Blue Label as well, beautiful smoke with hints of peat, the nose has a decent complexity with some depth, banana bread, malty almonds, toffee and soft cinnamon spices

The taste has more pronounced butterscotch and honey suckle, smoke becomes sweet, malted cereal, more floral with spicy tangerine, there is a note of orange peel before the finish

The finish is medium length, smooth and syrupy, smoke filled peat, a few sips in and the smoke becomes sweeter………imagine citrus hookah smoke lingering in the mouth, lovely!

Final thoughts are that I wish this wasn’t being replaced by Gold Label Reserve and 18 year old Platinum. I would have loved to see this expression as a cask strength or at least 46%. Still a marvelous blend. Out of the initial Johnnie Walker range, quality for price, this excels. This whisky is amazing, I feel sorry for people who knock the name and shun the brand……more for me!

Gold Label is a very nice scotch not far behind the Blue Label in my opinion. Springbank is my favorite distillery but I find this brand about as interesting as any partly due to the torrid hate, especially the Blue Label. I keep asking myself is there something I'm missing, is my pallet not developed, are the beautiful bottles and fancy marketing having an effect on my experience. I thought maybe if I started with some great single malts before Blue and Gold I will finally understand how unremarkable these whiskies are. Thus, a few days ago I started with a very nice Glengoyne 17 (91 Ralfy rating), Cragganmore (87 Ralfy rating), Old Pulteney 17 (91 Ralfy rating). Fully expecting a huge let down after tasting some nice malts...I surprisingly found the Blue Label (82 Ralfy rating) just as enjoyable...not necessarily any more enjoyable but it surely held it's own...certainly not 10 ponts lower. The arrival and pallet were probably better or as good than any of the above, amazing mouth feel, but the finish does get clipped which is disappointing initially. However, if you wait about 5-10 seconds Blue Label actually begins to come back similar to Highland Parks in that your mouth starts watering again with gentle smoke, vanilla, and chocolate flavors simmering that I could still taste after two minutes. Strange experience with the finish but in the end hard for me to use the finish to characterize an overall experience as terrible or at least an extremely average whisky that I so often read. I then followed up the Blue Label with Chivas 12 which Ralfy actually rates higher than the Blue Label (along with Teachers), and it was like going from the NFL to Pop Warner. Not a pleasant mouthfeel, a little harsh on the pallet, and too hot going down for me. Though I must say it was still enjoyable. However, the premium quality which was apparent in whisky after whisky that I had tasted suddenly was not there. So it just has me scratching my head how an experienced whisky drinker rates Chivas 12 and Teachers over Blue Label. Obviously there is no right opinion and everyones experience and ratings are just there own opinions, but my experiences with this brand versus it's common perception, as Ralfy is far from the only one I see rating Blue Label this way leaves me continuing to think this expression is highly under rated (cost not a factor) due to some psychological dynamics (bravado, marketing expectations that can't be met, poor price/quality ratio) that make it easy and maybe even popular to bash this brand...again especially the Blue Label as I do hear many positive raves about the Green Label...so maybe not so much the brand but there expensive bottlings. So I'm with you...let them hate...more Gold and Blue label for us.

Indynoir- I couldn't agree more, I have had tons of different single malts and have watched Ralfy since hisfirst episode and my opinion is that he dislikes big brand names and favors the independent bottlers. Well the big brand names didn't get that way because their whisky was poor, they got that way because of consistency. I have noticed with many single malts that the consistency can definitely change per batch and its very disappointing to put in $100+ for a bottle and get a lemon. Johnnie Walkers higher priced bottles ie Gold and Blue label do hurt the bank but are consistent and I as a consumer look for that in a product whether it be whisky or anything else in life. Honestly, "not trying to brag" I have several bottles of the Johnnie Walker King George V and when I opened one about 4 years ago, that "was/is" the best whisky I have ever had, its so good that I now have to purchase 30+year old bottles to try to come close to the complex multi layered piece of heaven and let me say I have not found anything remotely close........ok I'm done preaching, like we said before ....more for us. Side note-----I think its brilliant that Diageo owns so many companies and has the ability to construct magnificent consistant blends, in my own opinion blends take more creativity than single malts, its taking single malts to the next level


I picked up the Johnnie Walker Family Set containing JW Red, Black, Gold, and Blue. Based on previous reviews I was quite looking forward to the Gold and Blue.

This whisky, however, was quite disappointing. While the Red and Black were good, the Gold failed to meet even my most modest expectations.

Nose: Malty, with fruit, mild citrus, some faint honey, and something herbal (it's downfall, as well shall see).

Palate: Very silky delivery that is watered down sweet (diluted honey?); there is then an herbal arrival with malt, more diluted honey, and a dry vegetal note.

Finish: a dry, lingering herbal spice.

The herbal notes kill it for me. Whatever enjoyment is derived from the smooth but diluted honey are quickly smashed by the herbal notes that seem to dominate on the palate and in the finish.

I must have ended up with a dud bottle. I say this based on my experience with JW Blue (see other review), and based on comparisons with other reviews of JW Gold (where it is generally scored much higher). I actually preferred the JW Red to this....(uh oh)


I found a bar in town called the Triple Nickel (that my friends dubbed the "trickle nipple" years ago). The bar serves all of the Johnnie Walker major labels. The bartender was very nice. I mentioned that she looked remarkably like Helen Hunt and she very politely told me that she was quite tired of hearing that observation. She explained that she is the same approximate age as Helen Hunt and that the comparisons began in her adolescent years when Helen Hunt first starred in an after school special that all of her friends saw.

The Helen Hunt Lookalike Bartender and I watched Conan O'Brien together. Jennie McCarthy was interviewed about how she lusted after the image of Jesus in posters that she had purchased at 7/11 as a girl, and how later, as a Playmate dinner escort in Italy, she had once tried on the Pope's hat when she was let into his apartment without him being there. Some younger 20-something guys came over to order drinks at the bar, and lauded McCarthy, saying she was their favorite older "Playmate."

I also spoke with a stone mason who claimed that the owner of Evergreen Aircraft was very nice, and quite generous in the amount of work he had given the mason, despite the fact that this man felt that Evergreen Aircraft is responsible for Chemtrail spraying across the western states of the USA. He claimed that the spraying was being done for the purpose of weather modification with reflective materials like nano-particles of aluminum.

At any rate, I was treated to very surreal conversations over some high quality (but rather bland) scotch.

Drank a glass of Green and a glass of Gold. Here is my verdict:


Both Green and Gold should sit in a glass for at least 15 minutes to bring out the flavor. Cover the glass with a steel can lid if possible, or if not, a cardboard coaster. I covered mine with a drink coaster.

After fifteen minutes, the flavors began to ooze up and collect in the glass, providing an adequate nose to rate. Prior to that both noses were practically non-existent.

Nose of the Gold: Carmel apples (green), pecans, roasted chestnuts, toasted malt.

Initial sip: Apples, caramel, mild heat, smooth yet indefinite magic that was hard to identify specifically.

Mid note: Pecan pie, Granny smith apples, very very low heat, a cognac type consistency that reminds me a good Remy Martin.

Finish: Not terribly long but pleasant; lingering caramel; dates; whipped cream.

Compared to the Green Label, the Gold was lackluster but very very smooth. Do I prefer the Green? Yes, over the Gold, but it still was not very impressive. In fact, neither struck my fancy and neither was worth the price.

I paid $15 for a glass of Green and $20 for a glass of Gold. Personally, in retrospect, I would rather have paid much less for glass of Caol Ila and a glass of Talisker. I would have mixed the two and sipped my way to heaven.

By the way, the Green was sorely lacking when it came to the Caol Ila and the Talisker. I tasted NEITHER in the blend. This is dramatically different from two years ago when both signatures were prominent.

If you are planning on stocking up on Green Label because it will soon be discontinued, , you might think twice. Today's Green label is not the same as a few years ago. You might end up sorely disappointed, as I was tonight.

I have since changed my mind on Johnnie Walker Gold. In the past month, I've come back to it a few times. My cousin down in Cali just beat me to buying a bottle. Now I need to get one for my own "stash" up north.

As I have explored more and more single malts, I've come to value the blends, as well, such as Gold, Sheep Dip Hebridean, and Campbeltown Loch.

I also now like the Gold more than the Green when it comes to Johnnie Walker. Why? Well, if I feel like a good bold single malt, then I drink one! The Green seems like a compromise, with so many blends in it, unless I am at a bar and nothing better is available. Not so for the Gold. It's simply a different animal. On the other hand, the Sheep Dip Hebridean has only a few single malts in the blend, and I really like this about it.

For me, the Gold seems perfect to serve at dinner parties with one's close friends, and for having drinks with those who are new to whisky. Like the Archentoshen Three Wood, it's a perfect introduction to good scotch, I think.

Also, the Gold is just delicious even though it is not the most sophisticated scotch out there. Sometimes simpler is indeed better; it all depends upon one's mood.


My wife bought me this sexy little whisky calender for Christmas. It came from Master of Malt and was a sample pack of 24 different whiskies, blends, bourbons, single malts, Islay, Highland, Speyside, Island whiskies.

The whole range!

I'd immediately gone through the few whiskies in the calender that I'd already tried and reviewed before, then I moved onto the two whiskies that I'd tried before and had never really examined/reviewed.

Then I moved onto whiskies that I'd never tried before. I'd started with entry level single malts and after a few days, just for shits and giggles I decided to throw in a blended whisky.

Johnnie Walker Gold Label to be exact.

Now I'd tried a decent selection of the Johnnie Walker whiskies, the Red label, the Black label and the Green Label.

For the record the Black and Green label damn well rock and in my mind kill the thoughts that blends can't be as awesome as a single malt.

So I finally get a chance to sit down with my wife for dinner and decide to crack open the Gold Label sample bottle and pour it into one of my glencairns.

The nose starts off woody with a wee bit of peat and smoke and then it goes sweet with honey, apples and pears. And then it goes to a wee bit of maritime air.

A very complex nose that keeps changing, and seems to have fun sucking me in.

Time for a taste!

Smooth, very very smooth. Practically no bite to it at all. The flavors are sweet with the honey and fruits and then some soft peat. Quite a floral flavor to it too.

A medium to long dry finish with soft smoke and fruit ends this very nice whisky.

A stupidly nice whisky which once again destroys the myth that I hear oh so often that for a whisky to be good it has to be single malt.

Or a blend that runs hundreds and hundreds of dollars, such as the Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

This whisky runs at around $80 AUS and is damn good value for money, my only complaint is that it's just a wee bit too smooth for my tastes. I prefer my whiskies with just a bit of bite to them, but I'm damn glad that I got a chance to try this bad boy out!

If you're sitting there thinking that blends are crap, I dare you to try Johnnie Walker Green and Johnnie Walker Gold and say it again!

Nice review. I have arrived at the conclusion that blends all taste the same...so ill be keen to sample the gold. Im also wondering how the gold stacks up against the platinum..which is also highly rated. My only problem is for the price of a bottle of gold (or platinum) I can purchase a great single malt which I have never tried before. So it seems the only way I will get the try the gold would be if I saw it on the shelf of a pub or restaurant that I visit.


This is the Scotch that started me on my single-malt journey. That's right, a blend. A couple of years ago, the only Scotch I knew well was Johnnie Walker Black Label. When my supply of Black ran out, I visited the store to replace it, and, having some extra cash that week, decided to spring for some Gold Label. "Gee, this must be REALLY good!", I thought. I decided to read up on J.W. Gold after I purchased it (my dyslexic logic at work), so I went online to find some reviews, started learning about whisky...one website led to another, and I was soon delving into the single malts, never to look back.

This review is based on that same bottle of Gold I purchased two years ago, now down to but a few drams. No doubt some changes and oxidation have taken place. It's also the first taste I've had in several months (and I didn't take any previous tasting notes), so this is a review based on those qualifications.

Nose: The first thing that strikes me is...Johnnie Walker! Dressed up in his Sunday finery, but Johnnie Walker nonetheless. Revisiting it after several minutes of opening up reveals much more. The care and balance that went into this blend become apparent, with layers of flowers, nuts, honey, and a slight touch of peat. A very pleasant nose, to be sure, but already I can sense that it's been fine-tuned past the point of distinctiveness.

Arrival: Sweeter and nuttier than I recall, with a bit of non-citrus fruit.

Development: Much going on -- candy, spices, malt, honey, peat, and...Fig Newtons, maybe? Layered, but subdued.

Finish: As smooth as you'd expect, with some of the aforementioned sweet notes giving way to a bit of bitter nuts and...well, more bitter nuts. Not the slightest burn as it goes down.

In all, I like this whisky, but I doubt I'll be replacing it on my shelf once it's gone. I can think of at least two dozen single malts on which I'd rather spend the money. J.W. Gold is contrived elegance, and so bloody refined that it's almost boring. Sort of like a photographer's model: beautiful to look at, but no personality behind the airbrushed perfection.

I'm a teacher, so what may seem a relatively high score is but a "B" in my gradebook. Good enough for the honor roll -- but for the price and the hype, it ought to make the Dean's List.

Great review Im pretty sure the next time I go to the liquor store Im going to have to upgrade to this or J.W. Green since I've read its being phased out

@GotOak91, despite my misgivings, I'd say a bottle of the Gold is worth the investment. But a couple of bottles of the Green might be even more worth it.


Simply place in the freezer, allow it to thicken until syrupy and then drink with some high quality dark chocolate, compliment each other excellently. A beautiful whisky.


Like the name suggests, Gold Label is pure luxury and elegance. It's extremely smooth and greatly balanced.

Nose: Floral notes, honey, peanut, little bit of dried fruits, smoke, heather, some alcohol. Gold Label is brilliant on the nose and very complex.

Palate: Again some honey, a bit of smoke and peat, fruity. This whisky is so smooth it's hard to point out some of the weaker aroma's. It feels a bit watery in the mouth, but not at a disturbing level. The heavier aroma's controll the taste after a few seconds, but all in great balance. This whisky could walk a rope.

Finish: Medium-long. It leaves your mouth behind like honey does, with the aroma's of honey, heather, peat and smoke.

Johnnie Walker suggests putting Gold Label in the freezer for 24h before drinking as it will give the whisky more sweet- and fruityness and it will warm up in your mouth. That may sound crazy, but I sinned several times and I was impressed. It actually does make the whisky sweeter and fruitier and the taste will linger much longer. The whisky unfolds as it warms up. However, you will not be able to nose the whisky very well, as the low temperature takes away most of the aroma's. I'm not sure whether Gold Label is better at room temperature or when freezing cold. They are... different, but both great.

The Johnnie Walker Label range is quite diverse. In my humble opinion every Label exept Red Label (moderate whisky for it's price I think) is (very) good or excellent. Gold Label is lovely, better than Black Label, but not as good as Green Label, the latter being more challenging. Still, Gold L. is one of the better blends on the market and definitely a great achievement.


Nose: sweet, floral, fruity, smooth

Taste: this is very sweet and very smooth immediately. There is moderate pleasant peat, with wine flavours also present and more noticeable after a few seconds. On the palate this is a delicious and elegant dram.

Finish: rather long with some sherry and peat remaining until the very end.

Balance: this is a very very good blended Scotch whisky. The balance of flavours is lovely and refined.

I basically got the same score for the JW Gold but for slightly different reasons. If there wasn't that typical slight bitterness in the finish coming from the grain whisky blended in, it would get a much higher rating from my side. The Nose, balance and overall taste are simply amazing. A wonderful, smooth and elegant blend that really got to me when i tasted it. But the finish is simply slightly bitter coming from the grain and I am not a big fan of that, though it is somewhat neglectable if I consider the overall quality! Still it got 90/100, which is an all time high for grain whiskies ;)

@michaelschout, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the Johnnie Walker Blue Label, maybe because I had read so many comments from people who found it to be overrated. Smooth, delicate, fragile, and gentle are the words which I would use to describe the Blue Label. By contrast to the Gold Label the flavours in the Blue Label I find to be more indwelling and introverted, almost, hinted at, rather than expressed. The Blue Label flavours shimmered like clouds barely perceptible at the far expanse of the visible horizon, or a beautiful dream barely remembered upon waking. I will be interested in hearing your observations when you sample your Blue Label.


Australia imports two Gold blends from this famous house, Gold reserve and Gold anniversary. Having tried both its the Anniversary I will concentrate on with this review. Pacult wrote this as one of the best whisky's he has drunk, I concur. I would go one further and dare suggest that this is one the worlds best whisky's, top ten! I love this whisky I have already purchased my fourth bottle.

Whoops ... I just noticed that you did review the Green Label. You said it was underrated, but you neither told us anything about it, nor mentioned what you liked and disliked about it. And why do you think the Gold Label is the best? Thanks ...

@Apollo, but you haven't tried JW Green Label yet !


Before I went and paid $80 on a bottle of blended whisky, I ordered a sample of the Gold Label as a Drink By The Dram from Master of Malt. So, this is a tasting conducted on a 3cl sample tasted today, as opposed to a full bottle tasted over time.

The whisky is gold in color as well as in name, and the label indicates it is 40% ABV.

Nose: Yum! There is some smoke in this whisky. A good thing, indeed! Stewed fruits, sea air; this whisky is complex! Some malty notes come out. It is reminding me of Highland Park 18yr! That is a VERY good thing. Mouth-watering aromas. That is, if you like a sea spray malt with some smoke and fruit. Fruit: peaches and nectarines. Not ripe and sliced, but reduced on low heat for a while, so the whole house smells like a sweet citrus.

Body: A bit watery.

Palate:Stewed fruits. Peaches. Marmalade. Spice comes in. Maybe a touch of peat on the palate? This is a wonderful whisky. I wish the mouth feel was better, but what can you expect from a 40% dram? As it is, I could hold this whisky in my mouth all night. So rich and delicious.

Finish: Smoke on the finish, with sea spray and a nice candied orange peel. The finish ends with a touch of dryness, but hardly.

Oh, this is good. I'm not sure which I like better, the Green or Gold label, but at a significant savings, I think I'll take the Green! Either way, these whiskies are a FAR cry from the Black label.


Nose: maritime character of Clynelish really shines through. Almond butter with honey. Creamy isn't a smell but I kept thinking of that word. 

palate: initially, smooth honey. once again, it's obvious who's the major player - Clynelish. 

Finish- medium length finish with some subtle vanilla. Decent. 

Overall, a very enjoyable blend. Sort of like a sweeter and milder Clynelish. A MUCH better value than Blue Label with more character. I have two gripes. I enjoy the Clynelish influence, however, I don't feel like this blend has enough of it's own unique character. Like I said, to me, this is a sweeter and milder Clynelish. Eh, maybe I'm being too harsh.

My second gripe is the price. 70-90 dollars is a bit too high for what I'm getting. If this were about 20 or 30 dollars cheaper, I'd buy a new replacement bottle. 

I had a few drams of JW Gold last weekend and I was kind of disappointed ... It's a decent dram, but IMO Tea Bheag is a better blend and costs way less. But I'm glad I tasted it... now that I know, I won't be buying it.

I also ordered a sample from Masters of Malt and found it to be nice, but as another reviewer wrote, a bit watery.


Reviewed by @OJK

0 1680/100

Nose, Taste, Finish and Balance are graded out of 2.5 each:

Nose: Hints of chestnut, coated in wood-polish. Some apple and dried banana mingle in between almond flakes and honeyed raisins, all murmuring to a sweet and even peaty tune. Subtle yet quietly complex. 2.0

Taste: Aniseed and almonds roll smoothly over the tongue, pulling behind them raisins and honey drenched oats. All of these ingredients come together to create a luscious muesli, richly infused with some charcoal-smoked banana and wood-chippings. 2.0

Finish: The smoked almonds are now swimming in a mildly sweet radish juice, giving off peaty fumes of oats and barley, with soft toffee and vanilla notes giving a complex weight to the finish. 2.0

Balance: The Johnnie Walker range is quite a dynasty, with not a weak whisky amongst them. Quite the opposite in fact - you could have the full range alone in your cabinet and be fairly satisfied for any occasion. That said, their hierarchy within the dynasty seems slightly unbalanced, in that I would personally not rate the Gold Label higher than the Black Label, and I would certainly rate the Green Label above both of them, yet I would place the Blue Label below the Gold. This slightly confusing phrasing will be better explained through a full reviewing of each member of the dynasty, however it all goes to show you can't judge a label by its colour. All that aside though, and one must judge a whisky on its individual merits, and this Golden number is a very fine blend indeed, a soothing and subtly complex dram that is never anything less than pleasantly stimulating company. 2.0

Hi @Charlie Davis, thanks for the comment - I am definitely hoping to have reviews of the full Johnnie Walker range up on my profile soon, sadly though the Green Label isn't yet listed on the site so will most likely wait until it is. That all said, I can tell you that I find it a richer and smoother blend than the Gold Label (this will have no doubt have a lot to do with the fact that it is a pure blended malt, rather than a straight blend, thus giving it a smoother and more weighty quality). If I was to speculate my rating of it I would imagine it would be towards a 9. And given that it's cheaper than the Gold Label, I would strongly recommend buying Green over Gold. Hope that helps!

I think you'll like it for a change. It's not an idea of my own, it's an idea of Johnnie Walker. Frozen Gold is what they call it. I bought a special Frozen Gold edition of Gold Label in Greece. The bottle came with a beautiful box with two special thin glasses, specially made for this way of drinking GL. The instruction note said the bottle should be in the freezer for about 24h. About 30 minutes before taking out the bottle, the glasses are meant to be put in the freezer as well. Then, as you take 'em out, the glasses become misty, which looks great with the golden liquid. Drinking this way of GL brings one disadvantage: the nose becomes very vague due to the low temperature of the liquid.

Try it and let me know what you think of it.

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