Johnnie Walker – Blue Label

Rating: 7 out of 10

As it came from a freshly opened bottle, this one started off very, very shy. When it finally opened up after 10 minutes or so, it was different than I expected.

You can clearly taste that the people at Diageo have tried to produce a ‘delicate and complex’ blend. It’s way more subtle and engaging than the rest of the Johnnie Walker range. And there’s none of the biting spirityness you get with JW Red or Black.
It’s surprisingly floral and ‘perfumy’, with delicate hints of smoke. Overall the nose is very bourbon-barrel-speysider-ish. It’s has striking similarities with the Tony Koehl Imperial it tasted earlier, in that it reminds me of ‘laundry drying in the sun’.

A nice blend, with a big but: Blue Label is the top of the Johnnie Walker range. Yes, it’s better than the others (with the possbible exception of the less delicate, but more powerfull Platinum Label), but it’s better for the wrong reasons. It’s better because it fits nicely in some marketing managers’ market segmentation strategy. I feel that it’s not the best they have to offer. That it could have been even better if they tried a little bit harder. It lacks passion and pride.

If you want to buy a nice premium blend, buy a bottle of Compassbox Flaming Heart. It’s better, more engaging, and it’s more honest. And it’s half the price.

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