Sunday, January 8, 2012
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.