Johnnie Walker Double Black is the newest addition to the Johnnie Walker family of Scotch whiskies. It was formerly only available in global duty-free shops, but it’s just been released, for a limited time, to the mass market.
Double Black starts with the Black Label template, and from there, it adds peatier malts and malts aged in heavily charred oak barrels – the result being a smokier dram than the original. And while the Black Label is aged for 12 years, Johnnie Walker Double Black carries no age statement.
On the nose, Double Black offers aromas of peat smoke, oak and dried fruits. Take a sip and notice more of that smoke, plus some pleasant tropical fruit notes, vanilla and spice. It’s quite drinkable, with an easy-going mouthfeel and a dry finish, but it’s a bit heavy-handed on the oak, with lots of char coming through.
Johnnie Walker Double Black is certainly no substitute for peaty Islay whiskies like Laphroaig or Bowmore, but it should appeal to fans of Johnnie Walker who’re looking for a whisky with some moderate peat smoke. It’s different enough from its Black Label cousin to warrant sampling, but not so different to alienate drinkers of the original. That said, its similarities – more in name and look than flavor – could result in some cannibalization for the brand.
Look for Double Black on store shelves this fall.
– 40% Alcohol by Volume
– $40 / BUY
CE Rating: ★★★