Johnnie Walker is an iconic brand of blended Scotch whiskies with a portfolio that boasts of some truly noteworthy products that are very popular worldwide. The brand has consistently performed well by releasing new expressions, and sustaining the wonderful inclusions from the past.
Johnnie Walker Red Label, and Black Label have been two of their oldest products in the market, while newer products such as the Green Label, Gold Label Reserve and the 18-Year-Old (Platinum Label) have also managed to live up to the Johnnie Walker standards.
Comparing two different expressions from the Johnnie Walker portfolio is a tough task since their core range is placed on a one-tier hierarchy beginning from the Red Label, which is their standard blend, and the Blue Label, their most expensive and premium blend.
Today, we are comparing to of the more premium Johnnie Walker expressions, the Gold Label Reserve and the Blue Label, both no-age-statement blends priced in the super premium category.
The Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve
Fondly referred to as the Celebration Blend, the Gold Label Reserve is a re-released version of the Gold Label, originally an 18-Year-Old blended Scotch, which was known as the Centenary Blend.
The Gold Label Reserve is a no-age-statement blend, and was released in 2013. It is a blend that is heavier on the Speyside and Highland whiskies, specifically the Clynelish single malt with some West Coast added in to develop the distinctly peaty character Johnnie Walker whiskies are known for.
It is a labour of love from Master Blender Jim Beveridge, the Gold Label Reserve is a smooth, and creamy whisky that has won a few awards at competitions and awards shows.
The Johnnie Walker Blue Label
The most premium product from the core range at Johnnie Walker, the Blue Label is said to be an exclusive blend, and the company says only the most exceptional casks, as few as one in ten thousand make the cut.
Blue Label is based off of Alexander Walker’s blueprints of the Old Highland Whisky, the first proprietary blend he created for the Johnnie Walker brand in 1865. It commemorates Alexander Walker’s commitment towards creating a truly remarkable blended whisky.
Johnnie Walker emphasizes on presenting the Blue Label as not only the most premium blend they have to offer, but as the embodiment of prestige and exclusivity itself.
The tasting notes carried by the Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve are;
Delicate, with hints of smokiness and sweet fruits.
Rich honey sweetness, velvety texture with a distinct smokiness.
Long, and warming finish with peaty aftertaste.
The tasting notes carried by the Johnnie Walker Blue Label are;
Aromas of hazelnuts, honey and oranges reveal themselves first followed by hints of ginger, sandalwood and dark chocolate.
Rich, with a sweetness of honey followed by traces of pepper and dried fruits.
A long, smooth and lingering finish that is well balanced and smoky.
Both the Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve and the Johnnie Walker Blue Label are robust blends with a great profile, and one isn’t necessarily better than the other.
Since they are both no-age-statement blends that have been prepared with the utmost precision, the preferential difference between them is purely subjective.
Depending on the magnitude of the occasion you are celebrating and the company you are hosting, both blends should be an ideal fit for Johnnie Walker loyalists.