Whisky Showdown! Macallan 12 vs. Johnnie Walker Black

This Whisky Showdown! is a first for me. I will be facing off a single malt against a blended Scotch, both of which are extremely popular in the marketplace at the moment. The Macallan 12 will be tasted against Johnnie Walker Black, both are considered 12-year-olds as the Johnnie Walker Black is made up of whiskies that are aged at least 12 years.  The Macallan 12 is bottled at 43% abv against Johnnie Walker Black’s 40%.

Both whiskies are pleasing to the eye, relfect a warm golden/copper colour. The Macallan is slightly darker, making a more rich impression. The legs on both are similar.

The nose on the Macallan is rich and bold, especially against the Black’s softer aroma. Both have some sweet notes, but the Macallan’s smoke and especially the oak sets it apart dramatically.

The palate on the Macallan gives up the oak and, along with the sweet notes of honey and fruit, the smoke playfully blends in and ties it all together. The Johnnie Walker is a treat with its trademark smoke and fruity notes, contrasting with the Macallan in that the oak and smoke is subdued and the fruits are played up.

The finishes on both are very similar. The most I can say is that the Macallan starts smokey and ends sweet while the Johnnie Walker is fruit from the get go. I prefer the Johnnie Walker’s stronger finish.

Overall, I’ll give this a tight race and call it for the Macallan.  It’s  a more complex product, but I’m surprised how well the Johnnie Walker Black holds up against it.

For my initial reviews of each, click the links:

Macallan 12

Johnnie Walker Black 12


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