Johnnie Walker Black Label vs. Blue Label – Know the Difference
Johnnie Walker is one of the world’s most well-known producer of blended Scotch whiskies. Their products are sold in almost all countries over the world, and have consistently done well in international whisky tasting competitions and awards shows.
Their inventory is made up of some impressive blended Scotch whiskies, and consists of some great no-age-statement blends such as the Johnnie Walker Red Label, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and some iconic whiskies with an age-statement such as the Johnnie Walker Black Label with an age statement of 12 years, and the Platinum Label with an age statement of 18 years.
Comparing two different expressions from the Johnnie Walker portfolio is a tough task since their core range is placed on a one-tier hierarchy beginning from the Red Label, which is their standard blend, and the Blue Label, their most expensive and premium blend.
Today, we are drawing a comparison between the Johnnie Walker Black Label, one of their highest selling whiskies, and the Johnnie Walker Blue Label, the most premium and luxurious blend from the brand.
The Johnnie Walker Black Label
One of their most popular and high selling blends, the Johnnie Walker Black Label carries an age statement of 12 years and brings together the aromas and flavours of East Coast and West Coast whiskies of Scotland.
A peaty, and intense drink, it is also one of the oldest expressions to form a part of the Johnnie Walker portfolio. It was created by Alexander Walker, founder John Walker’s son, and was known as the Extra Special Old Highland Whisky before 1909.
It is said that the Johnnie Walker Black Label is a blend of more than 40 source whiskies, married perfectly to create a rich, flavourful and smooth Scotch whisky.
The Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Often cited as a masterpiece by the company, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label is their most expensive, and premium product underlined by a feeling of opulence, and exclusivity.
A no-age-statement blend of some truly vintage, and rare whiskies from Scotland, Johnnie Walker claims only one in ten thousand casks are found fit to be of the quality that fits the Blue Label.
Created using the earliest blueprints from Alexander Walker’s first experiments that led to the creation of Johnnie Walker’s first proprietary blends, the Blue Label is a decadent and luxurious blended Scotch with flavours drawn from four different corners of Scotland.
The difference between Black Label and Blue Label are not limited in terms of age-statement, price segment and premium-ness, but also spill over into the tasting notes department.
The tasting notes on the Johnnie Walker Black Label are;
Hints of Vanilla with a strong, richer essence of tropical fruits.
Creamy, with notes of toffee, traces of smoky Oak and dry spice.
A typical long finish of a Johnnie Walker whisky with hints of smoky flavour and fruity
The tasting notes on the Johnnie Walker Blue Label are;
Aromas of hazelnuts, honey and oranges reveal themselves first followed by hints of ginger, sandalwood and dark chocolate.
Rich, with a sweetness of honey followed by traces of pepper and dried fruits.
A long, smooth and lingering finish that is well balanced and smoky.
As you can see, the Black Label and Blue Label boast some similar traits when it comes to their tasting notes such as a smoky profile, and traces of fruitiness but have their own individual characteristics too.
Preferences are highly subjective when it comes to whisky tasting, and sometimes even the more reasonably priced expressions fare better when compared with premium products. Therefore, a verdict between the Johnnie Walker Black Label and the Johnnie Walker Blue Label would be unfair.
Although, when it comes to an occasion that is equally momentous as it is rare, the Blue Label would be a suitable choice, whereas the Black Label is the perfect choice for leisurely nights and casual congregations with friends, and family.