Sunday, January 8, 2012

Double Black

Most of my consumption of Scottish whisky is confined to the single malt variety, and most of those are single malts from Islay.  However, just as much as I like varietal wines, I also like blended wines that make for a unique experience.

With that in mind I purchased a bottle of Johnny Walker's newest entry in the U.S. market, Double Black.  According to the Johnny Walker website this is a limited release for the market.  They took the regular blend for Black Label and added more island whisky and aged the blend in a more thoroughly charred oak barrel.

The result is very good.  There's a wonderful nose that suggest the peat and coastal aromas from Islay, but the front end of the taste is still a little reserved -- good suggestions of dried fruit and honey with just a bit of peat.  The finish is where the difference lies.  that is where the smoke from peat fires and the taste of oak from a charred barrel come to play.  They are there in full force and reminded me of sipping a whisky by a charcoal grill or a campfire.  Long finish that leaves the suggestion of smoke lingering in the mouth.

I sometimes drink blended whisky with ice, which is the way most Americans do it, but my single malts I usually drink neat with just a splash of water.  Having tried the Double Black both ways I found a compromise that suited me best - more than a wee dram in a glass with one, small ice cube.  With a little bit of swirling one gets just enough dilution to open up the whisky while cooling it to a little below room temperature.  Very good stuff.

40% alcohol (80 proof) and a list price of $40, but on sale for $33.

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