Last year Diageo celebrated the 200th anniversary of its best selling Scotch whisky Johnnie Walker. For this occasion three special bottlings were released, all created by master blender Jim Beveridge, one of them being this Johnnie Walker Blue Label Legendary Eight.
This exclusive version is a blend of just eight distilleries that were operational when John Walker started his journey. Four of them are lost distilleries: Brora, Carsebridge, Cambus and Port Dundas. The other four are still alive and kicking: Oban, Lagavulin, Blair Athol and Teaninich.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label ‘Legendary Eight’ (43,8%, OB 2020)
Nose: a complex mix of subtle fruits (yellow apple and mandarins stand out) with brown sugar, earthy notes and dried flowers. Orange oil. Hints of old books with leather covers. Whiffs of ashes, as well as some waxy notes and honey.
Mouth: oily texture, with a slightly underwhelming onset but picking up strength quickly. A vague sweetness (caramel, raisins and toffee) mixed with tangy ginger and some herbal tea. Old woody notes and heather. There’s a certain firmness that hints at the Highlands, alongside earthy smoke that is more prominent than the nose suggested. Citrus peels and a light grainy edge.
Finish: rather long, on bittersweet grains, white pepper, acrid ashes and dark chocolate.
A really beautiful blend, really classy with a proper old character. The Blue Label Ghost & Rare Brora still remains my favourite Johnnie Walker but only by a small margin. Still available from The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt for instance.