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Stogie Spirits: Johnnie Walker Blue Label

7 Aug 2007

Johnnie Walker Blue Label is an elusive spirit. It usually sits on the very top shelf of fancy bars collecting dust.

Johnny Walker Blue LabelAt around $200 per 750 ml. bottle, or upwards of $50 per double at your local drinking establishment, it’s no surprise that this blended scotch is usually reserved only for very special occasions.

Meanwhile, Johnnie Walker Red Label – a far younger and cheaper blend, also made in the Walker factory in Kilmarnock, Scotland – is the second most popular whiskey in the world (second only to Jameson). And Johnnie Walker Red was reportedly famous cigar lover Winston Churchill’s scotch of choice.

So if the Red Label is good enough for Sir Winston, is the super luxury Blue Label worth it? I recently had some to find out.

Every bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label has a unique serial number. Inside is a blend of over a dozen rare whiskeys, some over 25 years old.

The Blue Label is a deep golden color with a smell that is highly aromatic, but not harsh despite being 80 proof. I’m hardly an expert when it comes to scotch tasting (bourbon is more my thing), but I immediately noticed a smoky oak flavor with a spicy finish. Not surprisingly, the Blue Label is smooth and complex – but compared to a single malt, that smoothness seems to come at the expense of the distinctive character that defines single malts.

Ultimately, it’s a fantastic scotch. But whether it’s worth the price still isn’t clear. While some praise this mythic blend as the ultimate blended scotch, others decry it only “for ignorant stockbrokers” and “worth $60 not $200.” Personally, I feel it is somewhere in between the two – an excellent whiskey, but almost inevitably not worth the extraordinary price tag.

If you are luck enough to try Johnnie Walker Blue Label, be sure to enjoy it with a fine cigar that won’t overwhelm its smooth complexity. I would recommend an Ashton Classic or a Davidoff Grand Cru No. 3.

Patrick S

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Drew Estate

17 Responses to “Stogie Spirits: Johnnie Walker Blue Label”

  1. Padronnie Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 6:19 am #

    I'll take a 2 good single malts any day over one JW Blue

  2. ryan b Monday, January 7, 2008 at 4:05 pm #

    guys, i am pretty sure it is the JW black label that was favoured by sir winston churchill…..good article though for a great scotch…cheers

  3. Shawn Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 8:46 pm #

    Churchhill did drink Black not Red

  4. Oz Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    I will have one belt of JW Blue a week over 2 good single malts any day!

  5. dave Monday, October 13, 2008 at 8:10 am #

    winston churchills drink was black label

  6. Bill Saturday, January 10, 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    any one know where I could find a bottle of J/W Blue for less than 450 for the 1.75 bottle

  7. Oz Saturday, January 10, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    Try ebay…saw some pretty good deals on there

  8. Oz Saturday, January 10, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?from=R40

    there is one there for 399.99 + free shipping

    aloha

  9. Bill Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    Cool thanx I herd duty free is cheap as well coming in from another country to the U.S

  10. Oz Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    Yes, with the economy the way it is, it can be cheaper. The NEX naval exchange in hawaii here had a 1/5th for 180.00 which I purchased for my father Thanksgiving 2006 and I found same bottle on ebay for $149.00 + free shipping but that was only for the continental USA. Big difference in savings….aloha….Oz. [-o-]

  11. Cesar Kristan Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    Hello, please when I will see a follow up!

  12. Oz Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    i assume follow ups are whenever people make comments here. i just received a email that there was a post here…..now on ebay….you might try the following search:

    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m570&…

    and if that does not work…go to ebay.com and in the search box type in johnny walker blue label

    aloha from maui, hawaii

  13. julian Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    can anyone tell me what the bottle number means on a bottle of johnnie walker blue label. does it relate to the year of the manufacture?

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