Holy Smokes! Johnnie Walker Double Black is back

Johnnie Walker Double Black came to the US as a limited edition release in 2011. Apparently we drank enough of it that they’ve made it part of the full-time lineup. So what is this spirit named after a difficult ski slope?

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Johnnie Walker is the most popular blended Scotch on Earth. With the exception of possibly Dewar’s, I can’t think of a single brand more likely to appear at a wedding. Just about everyone has tried Red Label, but Black Label is when you really start to get into a good spirit. In 2011, they took it even further when they introduced Double Black.

“The deeper, more intense flavors of Johnnie Walker Double Black derive from the combination of selected aged, naturally smoky whiskies and whiskies matured in deep-charred oak barrels, all carefully blended to bring out the smokiest flavors,” commented Master Blender Jim Beveridge. “It took our blending team years to perfect, but when we found the right combination, we knew this was the next step for Johnnie Walker.”

I’ve had the Double Black, and this statement pretty well encapsulates it. The spirit is built upon the standard Black Label, but it’s a completely separate beast. For you beer lovers, picture going from a Dogfish 60 to the 120. You can tell it’s still an IPA built from the 60, but it’s a significantly different flavor and experience.

If you don’t like smoky scotch, you’ll probably want to avoid this. They made a point of magnifying those characteristics, and they did a damn good job of it. It’s still remarkably smooth and easy to drink, but calling it bold might be an understatement. It’s more of smoke monster gently kicking you kick in the teeth. If you love that style of scotch, this could be a must-buy at $40. It’s a huge step up from the standard Black Label.

Press Release via PRNewswire