Scotch Review: Johnnie Walker Black Label


I love scotch. Not to the point of being an alcoholic or even drinking it on a regular basis but to the point of that’s pretty much all I will drink when I do have a drink.

As a bartender for seven years I was able to learn about the effects of different alcohols in an up close and personal way. After experimenting with vodka, gin, bourbon and whiskey I settled on scotch as my preference. Now if you have never even sipped a scotch I do not suggest you jump right into it. Scotch is often described as an acquired taste. And is usually accompanied by a strange look of disappointment/disgust on a drinker’s face when then try it for the first time.

However once you get use to scotch and begin to like it you will start to get into trying different blends, malts, ages and grains. There are five main categories of scotch. I wont be covering them all but I will be discussing different ages, malts and blends.

If you would like to do some research I would suggest this overview on Wikipedia ->

Johnny Walker Black Label is a rather common scotch but it is one of the best selling brands in the world. Johnnie Black for short was created in 1820 in Kilmarnock Scotland by Alexander Walker.

Johnnie Walker producers several different labels of scotch, starting from the least expensive to the most expensive – Red, Black, Green, Gold and Blue. Each color correspondence to a different age. The longer a scotch is aged (in oak barrels only) the smoother it is and the more expensive it is.

Black label has been aged for 12 years. While Gold label has been aged for at least 18 years. Blue label doesn’t list its age but I would suspect all Blue label scotch is at least 25 years old.

For more on the labels go to Johnnie Walker’s website ->

I prefer Johnnie Black since it is stocked by almost every bar and restaurant in the US. While there are better scotches to be purchased and enjoyed at home I believe Johnnie Black is one of the best all around scotches for price and quality.

Its a blended whiskey which means its made from several different actual blends of scotch. Its blending makes it smooth and its 12 years of being aged in an oak barrel gives it a strong and undeniable flavor. Complex and rich in body it has a gentle after-taste and little to no burn as you drink it.

Its by far my favorite but not right for all occasions. If you are out on a business meeting and want to appear a little more sophisticated – put down the Miller Lite and order a Johnnie Black, with a splash of water and a twist.