gillmang wrote:I do not drink expensive blended whisky too often, saving my dollars for single malts.
However I've had the chance over the years to taste some luxury blends. One is Johnnie Walker Gold Label, another (just twice or so) the JW Blue Gary
I had completely forgotten that I had some of the Gold and some of the Blue in 200 ml bottles. Gary, your post reminded me, so I pulled them out. I lack your taste memories or palate sophistication so I had to have a sip of a single malt (Balvenie 12 YO Doublewood) alongside the Blue and Gold for context.
The Blue is one of the very smoothest whiskies I recall ever drinking. It reminds me of fine cognac is its delicacy. Its nose has leather, honey, heather, mild peat and smoke, with a bit of iodine. The taste is sweet and viscous with very mild spice and citrus overtones, and a bit of leather, even in the taste. There is the obligatory smoke, peat, and seaweed taste in a weak form. Blue's finish is moderately long with the honey sweet viscous flavors and mild spice going last. No alcohol is permitted to intrude............the taste is smooooth all the way. A very sophisticated alcoholic beverage. While I picked up on the leather, I did not get any of your old paper or books.
The Gold is a different, but with many of the same qualities. I get a bit of wood here, with light fruit aromas along with the peat, smoke, seaweed and leather, yes definitely more leather. I do get some of your dusty old paper and book aromas here (your words are very suggestive to me). I also get a bit of a nutty aroma and the alcohol presence is stronger. The nose of the Gold is not as delicate as the Blue in my judgement and is a bit more complex. The taste is likewise not as delicate with more of the traditional Scotch flavors. The Gold seems a bit drier and does have an 'old book' hint in it (I love books and the texture, smell, and sheer longevity of old books gives them a rank and status, irrespective of their contents, that commands respect).
I did not expect to say this, but today the Blue and the Gold are superior to the Balvenie 12 YO Doublewood, a single malt I consider among the best buys in Scotch Whisky (spoken by one whose knowledge of Scotch is way limited).
Will I choose a favorite 'twixt the Blue or Gold for today...........why should I? Was it a good tasting day? You betcha!!