The entry level blended Scotch whisky from the house of Johnnie Walker, Red Label is a NAS (No Age Statement) drink that was previously known as the Special Old Highland before being rebranded in 1909.
Part of the rich history of the Johnnie Walker brand for over a century, it has been enthusiastically promoted by Johnnie Walker for use in mixed drinks such as cocktails. Sold in over 180 countries worldwide per the claims made by the company, it is certainly a Scotch whisky with many years of history behind it.
The brand itself, founded in 1820 in the form of a grocery store owned by John Walker’s family, rose to prominence in the world of whisky when the prohibitions over the blending of malt whiskies with grain whiskies was lifted by the government in 1860.
Sadly, John Walker had passed away in 1857 and the reins of the company were in the hands of his son, Alexander ‘Alec’ Walker, and grandson, Alexander Walker II, who favored whisky as the commodity of choice for the Johnnie Walker brand.
Over the years, the Johnnie Walker blends changed a lot of recipes before Alec blended their first commercial bottle, naming it Old Highland Whisky and registering the name in 1867.
The Johnnie Walker inventory grew to three different expressions under George and Alexander Walker II by 1909 with the Old Highland (5-year-old), Special Old Highland (9-year-old) and Extra Special Old Highland (12-year-old) becoming a part of it.
These three expressions would go on to be named White Label, Red Label and Black Label respectively. As the brand continued to grow with stakes being bought in several distilleries across Scotland, the Johnnie Walker inventory grew to include new expressions while the White Label was dropped from the list.
Red Label continues to be one of the oldest blends from Johnnie Walker to be globally available although it was changed to be a NAS Scotch whisky a few years after it was rebranded as the ‘Red Label’ from its previous name ‘Special Old Highland.’
The Johnnie Walker Red Label is a blended Scotch whisky created using light whiskies from the East Coast of Scotland, and heavier, peatier whiskies from the West.
It is clear amber in color as compared to the other slightly darker expressions from Johnnie Walker.
The Johnnie Walker was a particular favorite of British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill who preferred to mix it with water, and drink it throughout the day.
This blended Scotch whisky has an alcohol strength of 40% Alcohol by Volume.
Spicy aromas of pepper and cinnamon, soft smoke and hints of honey.
Sweet, fruity with traces of fresh apple and pear, Christmas cake and plum.
A long, smoky finish.