I like Scotch and sometimes I go too long without a sip. Today was the day I rectified that situation. I invited Johnny Walker in for a visit in three of his personas; Blue, Gold, and Black. I think there is a Green twixt the Gold and Black, but..............as Gilda Radner used to say so brilliantly, 'NEVERMIND'. You sip the spirits you have. I also invited Bowmore Darkest Islay to make his comments as a not disinterested guest.
To level set, I tend to prefer whiskies with full bodied, more robust taste over their lighter brethren (although not always........there is the Crown Royal XR, a superb whiskey that some would characterize as 'light', while I would prefer to call it 'delicate'). That said, here is my take on the Johnny Walker Scotch trio with the Bowmore kibitzing.
NOSE: whiff of smoke and peat, iodine/medicinal, clover, there is a sharpness to the aroma that is slightly displeasing
TASTE; the expected smoke and peat with some sweetness that is pushed aside by a slight harshness that should have been more spicy and less harsh
FINISH; moderate to short with a bite that is on the ragged side
OVERALL; I liked it better in the past
NOSE; mildly peated and smokey with nuts and leather, licorice, and just a touch of orange peel. a warm and inviting nose
TASTE; the peat and smoke take their bow then comes some nice spice at mid palate, all wrapped in a creamy package that also reveals a bit of sweetness
FINISH; long, spicy, creamy, and robust
OVERALL; quite good, no rough edges, the obligatory smoke and peat in controlled amounts, a very respectable finish
NOSE; a marvelously complex nose that moves away from the peat and smoke toward the vanilla/sweet and maple syrup with oak wafting in at its leisure......sophisticated and rich nose that cries out to be tasted
TASTE; light smoke and peat, but still creamy, topped with a mildly spicy appearance at mid palate........inferior to the nose
FINISH; a moderate to short finish that barely sustains the best qualities of old Blue
OVERALL; in my humble opinion the Blue lacks the body to carry out what the nose promised
ASSESSMENT with BOWMORE'S participation
Of the three JW's in this little tasting, I prefer the nose of the Blue and the Taste of the Gold.........the Black can go home alone.
The Bowmore has a more assertive nose, taste, and finish..........as you would expect from an Islay Scotch. I believe that the Bowmore is a 12 to 15 YO Scotch, but there is no age statement on the label. There is a bit of an edge to the Bowmore, much like with the Black Label that is slightly off putting to me.
Among these Scotchs on this day, I would choose the Gold Label Johnny Walker because it tastes best, has better balance twixt it elements and finishs well.
I make no claims to expertise in any of the above mentioned whiskies and consider this assesment to be stictly for entertainment, with the mild hope that your love of whiskey will lead you to deepen your enjoyment of the world's great spirits and to discover your own particular tastes.
BourbonEnthusiast members and visitors, I encourage you to enjoy this site, learn about the pleasures of moderate use of various kinds of spirits, and participate with your ideas and experiences.