Hot on the heels of my tasting of Johnnie Walker Gold, I believe a side to side tasting against Johnnie Walker Black is in order. Seeing as how these are blended Scotch whiskies, my curiosity consists of determining wheather the more mature malts used in the Gold Label add significant substance and enhance the experience over the Black Label. This does not consist merely of a product by a distillery which has had time to age more and thus potentially express deeper representations of a distiller’s attempt at a unique style. This is a different beast altogether, evaluation whether a blender is improving upon a blend, in this case consisting of younger whiskies from various distilleries, by using older whiskies and blending something completely different. The review could thus yield interesting and unexpected results. My intial review of the Gold can be found by following this link, the Black can be reached by clicking here.
Both are an identical shade of gold and both present legs that run slowly and thickly down the walls of the glass. Incredible how the two are identical in this respect.
On the nose, the Black is stronger and presents its familiar range of citrus, honey, and fruit. The Gold by comparison is quite soft. I notice the smoke and oak in the Gold more when compared directly to the more fruity and spicy Black. The Gold’s fruity side is more subtle when compared directly with the Black.
On the palate, the Black’s fruit contrasts neatly against the Gold’s deeper expressions of oak and smoke. That’s not to say that the Gold doesn’t share some of the Black’s more fruity notes and the impression of honey, but the Gold is more discreet in these aspects of its profile.
The finish on the Gold gets extra points for being deeper, longer, and more complex. It goes into some smoke and oak more intensely and explores more of what an older whisky can do in bringing out the characteristics of the casks.
Overall, the Gold has an edge on the Black. The understated opening does not accurately reflect the body of what’s to come. Against a more fruity but quite enjoyable Black, the Gold does orove that some additional years in the cask, even for a blend, does lend some more interesting combinations of flavour to the final product.
I hope you have a chance to enjoy both of these fine products and come to your own conclusion!