Johnnie Walker is one of the best selling whiskey brands in the world, and its iconic bottle design is recognized everywhere. It’s blended Scotch whiskey and made with a concoction of malt and grain whiskey, and the taste is unique.
One of the more recognizable aspects of Johnnie Walker are its different colors or labels. If you’re not familiar with their meaning, don’t sweat it as they’re explained below. They’re presented here in order from the least to most expensive.
Johnnie Walker Red
This is the entry level, and it’s tough, rough Scotch. After the Phylloxera disease struck the french grape vines, Johnnie Walker Red came to take its place and it’s now favored over soda and brandy in Europe.
If you’re in the mood for some jalapeño cheese poppers or want to create a highball, get a Johnnie Walker Red. Don’t let the term entry level mislead you as this is good Scotch whiskey.
Johnnie Walker Black
Probably the brand’s best known variant, Johnnie Walker Black has up to 40 unique malts. It is not as refined as Blue but is more robust. Among its more notable traits are smoke and peat, and the base grain – after the malls are added – has wheat and corn characteristics.
Johnnie Walker is a 12 year old whiskey and it’s a best seller around the world. If you love Black then good for you as this is available everywhere. The familiar aroma and taste is another advantage as you’ll know what you’re going to get.
There are a lot of Johnnie Walker brands, but if you’re not sure where to start, try Black as you can’t go wrong.
Johnnie Walker Double Black
This is the same Johnnie Walker Black, but the term double is used because it has more smoke malts and peat in the blend. The term isn’t widely used in the industry or by whiskey lovers, but it’s good to know nevertheless. If you’re in the mood for some blended Scotch or like bold Islay whiskies this should be on your watchlist.
Johnnie Walker Green
Johnnie Walker Green is blended scotch whiskey, but of a different type. The blend consists single distillery malts without grain whiskey. Johnnie Walker Green was absent from the US market for a while and only available in Asia.
However the Green returned to the US in 2015. Johnnie Walker Green is notable for its unique blend, and it has a rich texture that fills up your taste buds and stays there. This is the type of drink for single malt lovers who are adverse to risk.
Johnnie Walker Gold
This product line was re-introduced in 2012, and it has since become a favorite for its distinct flavor. There are many ways to enjoy Gold and one that you may want to try is serving it chilled.
Put the drink in the fridge, let it chill then take it out and sip. One of the benefits of chilled whiskey is that the flavor gets condensed, giving it a distinct taste. Take a sip of Johnnie Walker Gold and feel the difference as the whiskey goes smoothly down. Remember though that this whiskey is for sipping, not chugging.
Johnnie Walker Platinum
The Platinum was added to the line around 2013, and it is just behind the Blue label in terms of price. That alone should give you an idea of what the Platinum is like. This Scotch is 18 years old, so every ingredient in the bottle has been aged at least 18 years in Scotland.
Judging by the taste the ingredients have most likely been aged longer. This makes the platinum a good option if you’re after aged whiskey. For comparison the Platinum is not as smoky or robust as Black, but its richness is greater than Blue.
Johnnie Walker Blue
There is a lot of speculation about the malt in Johnnie Walker Blue, and it seems they point to the Royal Lochnagar as the place where it’s made. There are a lot of good reasons why the Blue Label is the most expensive, not least being its single malt Scotch, a little creamy and unpeated. For most people, this is overkill due to its cost. If you’re driving Lambos all day, then perhaps the price will not be an issue.
Johnnie Walker Blue is an excellent whiskey, and the taste, texture and fill is unique. As far as aged stocks go it’s one of the best around. The sweet grain whiskey base is enhanced by smoky Islay, and add some vintage malts and it’s the complete package.
Bottom line: no matter what you palate is, there is bound to be a Johnnie walker label for you.