Darker, smokier, and bolder than the standard Johnnie Walker Black Label, Double Black capitalizes on the original smoky malt’s popularity, taking it to an extreme. Master Blender Jim Beveridge crafted a golden, rich malt that brings forward smoke and vanilla; that’s the heart and soul behind this peaty malt. An introduction to Island and West Coast single malts, there’s a place for the Double Black in the market, despite not being everyone’s favorite style.
The first nose is clouds of sweet smoke, clove, cinnamon, and creamy vanilla supported by dry bitter orange peels and roasted malt. A forwards style brought to life by Island peaty malts and extensive use of charred oak.
The towering palate leaves nothing to the imagination; it’s all-out brown malts, oak spices, smoke, and coating vanilla with undertones of citrus peels.
The spices fade, but the smokiness and the vanilla notes remain long in the back-palate. A persistent and pleasantly bitter aftertaste is the Double Black’s signature.
If you’re looking to explore peated malts and enjoy oak-oriented drams, then the Double Black is a fantastic choice. Overpowering for some, there’s an undeniable charm in this spice bomb enriched by the warmest oak vanillin.
Johnnie Walker Black Label is the original smoke and oak-oriented malt and is a tad gentler on the senses. If the Double Black is too intense, you’ll surely enjoy the classic Black Label. Both labels are essential in the distillery’s repertoire, adding balance to the collection while paying homage to peated whiskies.