Review No.12. Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 Years Old

This is probably the most recognised bottle across the world.  Heavily marketed by Diageo, who are a large multinational corporation with its footprint in almost every drinks category going. I think this makes it an easy target for those whisky snobs that deem it to be too mainstream.  You will easily to be able to find a bottle of this in the UK and more often than not it will be on offer.


Whisky: Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky, 40% vol.

Nose: Ashy smoke, forest fruits, cloves, sultanas and raisins, hints of sea salt

Taste: Burnt toffee and caramel, sultanas and raisins, roasted nuts, smoke

Finish: Medium, dried fruit, roasted nuts and smoke

Score: 4

Summary: The range of flavours delivered by the Johnnie Walker Black is very impressive in my opinion.  It’s more on the rich fruity and smokey scale of whisky flavours and it manages to deliver a fine balance between these two distinct characteristics.  I enjoy smokey whiskies in moderation, the stronger the presence of smoke the less I tend to drink.  This blend balances the smoke with the fruity flavours much to my liking. I can easily enjoy a few glasses of it.  This bottle is competitively priced and I think you will struggle to find another blend in the same price bracket that comes close to delivering on flavour.


Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


Image source: