The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 42 of 152

NOSEABLES Color It Platinum M Christina Hendricks and Richard Carleton Hacker enjoy the just-released Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18 Year Old, which is being positioned right between the Blue Label and the new Gold Reserve. ove over, Johnnie Walker Blue. Step aside Johnnie Walker Gold. There's a new ultra-premium blended scotch in town and its name is Johnnie Walker Platinum Label ($110). Previously only available in the United Kingdom, this rich, complex blend takes its inspiration from the Walker family's tradition of creating "private blends" for favored customers. Thus, Master Blender Jim Beveridge selected the whiskies for Platinum Label—none less than 18 years old—from a limited number of casks sourced from no more than 25 distilleries. As such, it pours with a deep bronze color and fills the senses with butterscotch, cherries and a touch of black pepper and smoke. It is meant for sipping rather than mixing, and falls right between the Blue and Gold labels (the latter of which is being phased out in favor of a new, slightly more delicate Gold Label Reserve, which will not carry an age statement). Adding to the Platinum Label's prestige, it is being introduced by a stunning Johnnie Walker "red"—as in redhead—in the shapely shape of Mad Men star Christina Hendricks, who also serves as Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassador. Which, in turn, inspired me to ask the actress how her character, Joan Holloway, would use the new Platinum Label, even though it didn't exist back in the '60s. "Joan has always shown herself to be a tremendous hostess," said Hendricks, "and she always has a proper bar set up in her apartment. So because the new bottle is quite elegant, she would have it right out in front, and offer it to you when you walked in. To me, it's very fruity and nutty and although the smoke is there, it's really more about the spice and fruit. I find it's more of a delicate whisky than the Double Black, which I prefer on the rocks. But for Platinum, I like it neat." —Richard Carleton Hacker Ever since 1715, when Jean Martell founded the House of Martell at the age of 21, he and his namesake cognac have become legendary for their strength of character. To honor the strength of character in both the man and the cognac, as well as of other men and women of character throughout the world, Martell has launched Martell Caractère ($34.99). It is composed primarily of Ugni Blanc, and blended with two different styles of eaux-de-vie selected for their fruity character as well as their sweetness and spice. "You'll find some generous notes of pastries, vanilla and sweet spices, says " Martell Cellar Master Benoît Fil, "together with candied notes of prunes and raisins. And the mouth feel is both refreshing and very smooth, with lemon and tangerine peel on the mid-palate, which support the very long finish. —R. C. H. " PHOTO COURTESY OF PERNOD-RICARD USA Cognac with Caractère 42  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2013 TP1213_034-63.indd 42 11/23/13 8:26 PM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - December 2013