Food - Drink
Johnnie Walker Black Label: The Ultimate Bottle Guide
By BRIAN ROONEY
The History
In 1820, John Walker invented his own scotch to ensure consistent quality — something that wasn’t a priority among other local brewers of the time. The iconic square bottle and slanted label were introduced by John’s son, Alexander, in 1867, while British illustrator Tom Brown created the Striding Man in 1908.
The Types
Scotch Whisky comes in three types — single malt, grain, and blended. Single malt comes from a single distillery and is made only of barley, water, and yeast, grain whisky substitutes barley for wheat, maize, or a combination of the two, while blended is a blend of single malt and grain whiskeys.
The Process
Johnnie Walker whiskeys are made from a blend of single malt and grain whiskeys, each of which are made with a finely-honed process. The whisky making process starts with malting the cereal, drying it, mixing it with hot water and yeast to ferment it, distilling the liquid, and finally maturing it in oak casks.
The Taste
The balanced flavor and texture of Black Label comes from whiskeys made all over Scotland, and it has remained the same over the years. Black Label has sweet, oak, and smoky aromas, with mellow honey, stone fruit, and vanilla base flavors, followed by subtle spicy and creamy toffee notes, and a light smoky finish.
The Applications
Black Label's straightforwardness and accessibility make it perfect for a wide array of uses — like sipping it neat, or having it on the rocks or with soda. Its potent flavor and lack of bite also make it great for cocktails as well as highballs — like Johnnie and Lemon, Johnnie and Ginger, and Johnnie and Peach.