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In the world of Scotch, JW Blue is the clear winner for carrying the image of the most popular, well known, top-of-the-line Scotch Whiskeys . Most people think of it as the rarest, most expensive and probably least-likely-to-drink scotches around. This review should dispell a few myths ..
For a while Blue Label might appear to be the Lamborgini Gellardo of Scotch, while most of us won't drive a Gellardo in our lifetimes, JW Blue is QUITE within our reach. Despite being the rarest of the Johnny Walker line of Scotch, it is amazing how readily available something "rare" becomes when it fetches between Rs 12000/- and 13500 / - per bottle ( Duty free prices are $127 ie around Rs 5700).
Blue Label is Johnny Walker's current attempt to recreate the finest scotch from the original Walker recipes. Back in the 19th century, Johnny Walker blended an ultra fine, flavorful exclusive scotch and ONLYoffered it to friends, family and those closest to him. The scotch was peaty, malty, yet because of the blend, very complex and lasting in the finish. The Blue Label offerred today certainly accomplishes the complexity part . Sure, there are infinte flavors which dance across you palate. I personaly prefer the directness and consistency of a single malt scotch ( Try Jack Daniels Silver - Mind Blowing ), especially when an exclusive and even esoteric single malt can be had for 1/2 the price of a bottle of JW Blue.
A question then arises " Is this stuff REALLY worth it ??? " . With this review I intend to answer that question AND offer some hints of how to get Blue at a more reasonable price so perhaps you can actually drink this scotch and answer the original question for yourself -- This review is only intended to be a guideline, and hopefully, upon reading it, YOU can answer the question!
The recipe for Blue Label originated in the 19th century from Johnnie and son, Alexander, Walkers' search for the finest and scarcest highlands Scotch Whiskeys available. Johhnie Walker's master blenders created Blue label in celebration of the Walkers' relentless and uncompromising quest to blend the most balanced and flavorful Scotch. Today, Blue label is package beautifully, in original form, bottled in handsome blue flint glass. The bottle wears a handsome hinged Blue-Label box, with delicate silk on the inside. Each bottle is indivudally numbered with a guarentee of authenticty from the Walker distillery, including a well written booklet on the painstaking efforts that went into developing this fine blend and recreating a classic.
Since the inception of Blue Label, the Scotch has gathered numberous awards and accolades, the most prestigious of which being the International Wine and Spirit Competition's award "Gold Medal for the Best Blended Whisky". The blend consists of only 16 of the scarcest Scotch Highlands whiskeys and Speyside malts, which is essential to keeping avid scotch drinkers interest, because it maintains the dark undertones and richness usually only found in a single malt.
Blue Label is an instant classic from the first warm taste -- The blend has a wonderfully sweet aroma, very toasty and aged on the nose. The scotch drinks with a wide open bouquet of flavours, starting with a peaty and warm spicy body which developes into a very oaky and chocolaty body, boasting of fruity and almost chewy undertones. You can just taste the slightly buttery oak aging on the finish along with a delicate hint of sherry and fruitiness. All throughout the taste, the scotch goes from oaky and dry texture wise, to warm and moist. The scotch maintains the same flavor, unlike a cigar which developes into different bodies and flavors along the way .
While smoking and drinking are both injurious to health : in this case, I WILL advise on cigars-to-drinks, or at least Blue label. Before I mentioned the notion of directness and consistency compared between single-malt and blended Scotch. The same kind of notion applies to cigars (although cigars aren't malted! Though if you're lucky you'll find some rare flavor-bombs which have a malty body ) Try a complex cigar and more direct single-malt scotch ( it's like combining the yin and the yang ). You can also try the reverse.
When I drink Blue Label, since it is so complex, I prefer a very direct cigar - something flavorful and powerful BUT not overly complex ( Try the Oliva "O" series Omni ) .The Oliva "O" cigars are potent - packed with flavor, BUT because they're rolled puro style with all Habanos tobacco, the flavor remains very consistent, perhaps even almost monotone.
Blue Label is a serious Scotch, with a serious price. Sadly, sometimes I'm convined that alot of that price has more to do with the packaging and preparation, as opposed to the actual whiskey spirit itself . Compare JW Gold Label, it is aged 18 years (as opposed to Blue Label's 25 years) and while it's more of a straight highlands blend of only a hanful of whiskeys, it shares a similar body to the Blue, except less toasty and a lot less fruity, though still very complex. So is Blue Label really worth this price??? Rs 13000 /-a bottle is no joke
Check out the market when you or some one you know are OUT OF THE COUNTRY ( as mentioned earlier duty free prices are less than half ) .
Some of the best places to buy if you happen to be going to Europe are Heathrow, Charles De Gaulle, Milan, Rome, Ferihegy (Budapest) and many other hot-spots in Europe.
Talk to friends or family traveling to Europe or US or if you're planning a trip yourself, remember to leave enough time to stop at a liquor store and/or duty free, to pick up a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label.
Be careful when you buy it in India- ONLY A FEW dealers stock the original ( The shop next to Global Business Park in Gurgaon stocks it ) .
CHEERS ...I HOPE YOU HAD A GOOD TIME READING THE REVIEW, AWAITING YOUR COMMENTS AND RATINGS.
PS: CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL AND SMOKING TOBACCO ARE INJURIOUS TO HEALTH.
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