I recently found out that the Private Collection by Johnnie Walker has been discontinued. A couple beautiful decanters appeared in this series, albeit all of them with a hefty price tag. The series was launched in 2014 and it’s of that very first decanter that I was able to score a sample. Let’s see what all the fuss is about…
Oh! A very refined nose that offers a lot of smoke at first, which is soon joined by some subtle notes of plum liqueur, candied oranges, ginger and a truckload of nuts (think almonds and paranuts). Granny Smith apples in a stew, sprinkled with cinnamon and floating in sweet butter. Very elegant indeed.
Good mouthfeel. Almost syrupy in fact. Immediately peaty, piquant on spices with lots of ginger and quite some tannins. No worries, though, because this is all softened up with sponge cake, caramel and dried fruit. Apricots and oranges. In the background still those apples and some vanilla. Toasted oak. Yes, refined is indeed the right word.
The finish is long, feisty and bittersweet on gooseberries and caramel. It remains smoky till the death.
Grand blend! If this does not contain Caol Ila, then I’ll eat my shorts (unless it’s Port Ellen, but I doubt that). I don’t want to say this too loud, but I’m getting more and more respect for this house. It’s just a pity that their truly good stuff is so expensive. Otherwise I would have more of it in my cabinet.