In case you haven’t noticed, this is the second whisk(e)y review that features a miniature bottle in the photo. Basically, I ran out of new whiskies to review (don’t be alarmed. I still have plenty left to drink), so while in the middle of a beer run two weeks ago, I thought, “Why not pick up some single serving bottles of whiskey?”. I figured that this would be a great way to go back and try some whiskies that I haven’t had in a long time, or to try something that is completely new to me, without having to buy a whole bottle; this would be the whisk(e)y equivalent of the mixed six pack, of which I am a huge fan.
Johnnie Walker is one of the most well known blended Scotch whiskies in the world, and they currently sell the following blended whiskies in the US market: Red Label, Black Label, Green Label, Gold Label, Blue Label, and Swing. Here is what Johnnie Walker has to say about their Red Label:
The Walker family used their encyclopedic knowledge of Scotland’s malts to create a blend with universal appeal. The result? Red Label became the world’s favorite whisky, a position it still holds today. Developed for an export market with a taste for long, refreshing drinks, it’s the label that built the Walker empire, and the brand that defined the whisky business.
And now for my tasting notes…
- Appearance: Clear amber color. Lots of thin, fast moving streaks form on the inside of the glass after giving it a swirl.
- Aroma: Rum raisin ice cream. Juniper. Very mild cigar smokiness. Adding water brings out some floral notes.
- Taste: The alcohol is very prominent when you drink it neat. Thin and watery mouthfeel. Lots of black pepper spiciness from start to finish. Medium, peppery finish with some subtle smokiness. The finish tingles your tongue. Adding water tones down the early pepperiness, but doesn’t alter the finish by much. You can really taste the Talisker 10 (one of my all time favorite Single Malts!) influence on this whisky.
- ABV: 40%
Although the Red Label can be a bit one dimensional when you drink it neat (heavy on the black pepper), it is still quite enjoyable. This is a young, vibrant, and very in your face kind of whisky, and I liked it even more when I diluted it with a good slosh of water. Would I drink it again? Absolutely. Would I ever buy a full sized bottle? I doubt it. Since there are far too many whiskies out there that I still need to try, I probably won’t be coming back to this one again for quite awhile.