Johnnie Walker Red Label

Johnnie Walker Red Label 43% 1970’s Export

Image courtesy of Master of Malt

What they say

Flowers that bloom into flames. Johnnie Walker Red Label is the world’s best-selling Scotch Whisky. And is made for mixing, both in exhilarating cocktails and with your favorite people. It brings together whiskies specially chosen for their bold, vibrant flavors that add a fiery kick to any mix.

Official Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Fresh citrus fruitiness.
  • Taste: Bursts of black pepper and cinnamon.
  • Finish: A long, lingering smoky finish.

What I say

Johnnie Walker Princes Street is opening in Edinburgh on 6th September 2021, celebrating 200 years of this blended Scotch whisky brand. It is fair to say whilst I haven’t overlooked Blends here at The Whiskyphiles (having reviewed well over 100 different blends so far), I also haven’t actively sought them out either. I often find blends ‘tough nuts to crack’ when it comes to tasting. With a myriad of flavours swirling around it often becomes too easy to say ‘tastes like whisky’ and swiftly move on. My particular interest in this bottle concerns when it was produced. Bottled in the 1970’s for the export market at 86.8 proof (43.4% ABV). Having recently read Dr Nicholas Morgan’s books ‘A Long Stride’ (available from Amazon) on the history of Johnnie Walker and ‘Everything You Need to Know About Whisky’ (also available from Amazon) both excellent books deserving a place in any whisky lover’s library, I returned to some earlier whisky literature by Michael Jackson. In particular the 1st edition of ‘The World Guide to Whisky’ (1987). In this Michael details a collection of the major Scotch Blend brands at that time and gives a brief description of their flavour profiles, inspiring me to explore them a little further.

  • ABV 43.4%
  • Age NAS
  • Bottler Johnnie Walker
  • Bottling Red Label
  • Cask Mixed casks
  • Category Blended Scotch Whisky
  • Cost £?
  • Origin n/a
  • Outturn n/a
  • Region Scotland
  • Released 1970’s
  • Vintage undeclared

My tasting notes

  • Appearance Bright/full amber gold (9/20) slow, medium-fine tears and tapered legs.
  • Nose Sherry, brisk, sugary and slightly metallic, nutty, soft fudge, some spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, beeswax, zesty blood orange, red apple, pear, vanilla, oak wood, herbal dill or anise seed.
  • Taste Smooth, creamy, touch fruity, apple, butterscotch, creamy highland toffee, raisin, some underlying sharpness, grain spirit, pepper and cinnamon spice.
  • Finish Medium-short, apple, tannic oak, liqourice or soft eucalyptus indicative of a touch of peat smoke.
  • Overall Entertaining, with generous contributions from sherry, grain spirit, malt and peat. A touch metallic and solventy in places. Sherry, spice and smoke.

Score 82/100

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Categories: Blends

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