This popular malt is more sophisticated than you might think. This is a blend of malts aged for a minimum of twelve years, and it’s all about oak vanillin and smoke over a honeyed, slightly bitter palate. One of the best-selling blended Scotch whiskies, the Black Label, is also an excellent entry-level malt to Johnnie Walker’s collection.
A three-note chord, but what a delightful sound! There’s an underlying caramel sweetness on the first nose escorted by bruised, or perhaps baked, golden apples and fluttering aromas of pitted smoke and vanilla paste.
The palate is bittersweet with honeyed richness. With slight bergamot flavors in the mid-palate supported by vanilla’s warmth, the medium-bodied malt is smooth, not precisely complex but rewarding.
With a medium length, the vanilla-infused aftertaste is quite inviting. A slight charcoal bitterness fades last.
Sip or skip?
Johnny Walker’s Black Label is a bold, entry-level malt that’s always a guarantee of a good drink. Ideal with ice or with sparkling water to dilute the smokiness and enhance the underlying raw honey flavors; with an average price of US$35, this is a great value.
Other Johnnie Walker expressions to try
Johnny Walker Double Black is an obvious step-up from the regular Black Label. With significant influence by the peaty Island whiskies and a more concentrated palate, the Double Black can be a sipping dram and a window to the smokiest single malts.