The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2011

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Page 47 of 128

Meet The Rest Of The Johnnie Walker Family Johnnie Walker Red Label One of the two original blends by John Walker's grandsons, whisky blenders George and Alexander, it was originally called "Old Highway Whisky" when introduced in 1909. Affixed with a red label, people simply began asking for "Red Label" whisky. A blend of approxi- mately 30 different single malts (including younger impressions of Caol Ila and Talisker) and seven to eight grain whiskies, the flavor is slightly smoky and sweet, making it a perfect base for cocktails. It carries no age state- ment. SRP $23 At Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo's new Son of a Gun restaurant in Los Angeles, Johnnie Walker cocktails are a mainstay. Shown are (left) a Blood & Sand made with Red Label and a Scotch Maid with Black Label. a new expression of Black is quite a thing for us, and our consumers." First launched a year and a half ago in Duty Free shops globally, Double Black's popularity has brought it to the U.S. just in time for the holidays. With an SRP of $40, its limited production makes continued availability a matter of conjecture. But for now, one thing is certain: Johnnie Walker Double Black is—quite literally—smokin'. Johnnie Walker Black Label Slightly peatier than Red Label, there are stronger influences of oak, along with citrus and fruit. Its statement claims that no whisky in the blend was less than 12 years old. Talisker, Cardhu, and Coal Ila are the base single malts, which makes it versatile enough for cocktails or on the rocks. SRP $34 Johnnie Walker Green Label First introduced in Duty Free in 1997 and brought into the U.S. in 2004, this is a vatting of four single malts—Talisker, Caol Ila, Linkwood and Cragganmore—with no grain whiskies added. Sweet smoke, coconut, and caramel abound, making this a complex dram best served neat. SRP $60 It's the smokiness that really sets it apart." Johnnie Walker Gold LabelComprised of 15 specially selected single malts, each is aged for a minimum of 18 years in sherry oak casks. Then one grain whisky is added to meld these flavors together. Floral smoke intertwines with honey and citrus to make this blend destined for a snifter. SRP $85 Johnnie Walker Blue Label The epitome of the blender's choice, made up of 15 to 16 of the rarest single malts, ranging in age from 15 to 60 years. Leather, honey, cedar and oak with a touch of smoke make this a blend to be poured from its recently redesigned, thick-walled, individually numbered bottle to celebrate special occasions. It is a blended whisky that even diehard single malt aficionados will savor. SRP $220 — Richard Carleton Hacker december 201 1 / the tasting panel / 47 PHOTO: RICHARD CARLETON HACKER PHOTO COURTESY OF DIAGEO

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