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jeff
08-04-2003, 10:00
Had my first sample of this a couple days ago at a bar in the Hilton where we were staying in Orlando. Can you believe there was not a single bourbon to be found at this bar http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif, though when I asked, I was shown the full line of Jack Daniels that they carried http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif

Overall I found this to be a nice drink. Smooth and oily with hints of green tea and anise. There was a slightly medicinal "camphory" taste that was unusual, though not alltogether unpleasant. I might pick up a bottle sometime and explore it further, or I might not http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif Anyone want to share their experiences with JWB?

P.S. Better than Dickle http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

Bob
08-04-2003, 10:20
Anyone want to share their experiences with JWB?

P.S. Better than Dickle http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif



Jeff,

I am of the opposite opinion regarding Dickle/Walker. I do enjoy the George Dickle Number 12 quite a bit, and have never noticed the "vitamin" flavors, or other "off" flavors that many have observed and noted. To me, Dickle is THE Tennessee whisky. Regarding Johnnie Walker Black, I just do not enjoy blends any more. I prefer exploring the complexities that I find in the Single Malts, similiar to our discussing flavor profiles of our favorite Bourbons. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif

Bob

OneCubeOnly
08-04-2003, 10:41
Jeff--that medicinal/camphor-type taste is the grain whiskey component of blends. The main malt in JWB is Talisker, so if you want the awesome malt character without the graininess, try that.

tdelling
08-04-2003, 11:01
>...that medicinal/camphor-type taste is the grain whiskey component of blends.

Or perhaps the medicinal/camphor notes are from the peat smoke in
the Talisker...


Tim

jeff
08-04-2003, 11:10
Or perhaps the medicinal/camphor notes are from the peat smoke in the Talisker...



That is what I suspected. While I have not had much experience with Scotch, this is a subtle taste that seems to run common through all I have tried, even the single malts.

OneCubeOnly
08-04-2003, 11:54
Or perhaps the medicinal/camphor notes are from the peat smoke in the Talisker...



That is what I suspected. While I have not had much experience with Scotch, this is a subtle taste that seems to run common through all I have tried, even the single malts.




I'm really surprised you agree with that! I figured your experienced palate would know the difference! Actually, there's a real simple test to see if you're tasting the grain vs. the peat smoke: try some Irish whiskey--preferably a bold one like Jameson 1780 and see if you taste it.

jeff
08-04-2003, 12:29
I'm really surprised you agree with that! I figured your experienced palate would know the difference!



I claim absolutely no palate experience with scotch whatsoever. It tastes nothing like bourbon to me, so I can only go by what limited experience I do have. And seeing as I don't drink many neutral grain spirits, I can't make a judgment in that arena. Maybe we're just talking about different things. The taste I am refering to is something "mediciny" that I seem to taste in all of the scotch that I have sampled, which is not many. I have them all written down somewhere, but I know I have tried several blends as well as single malts.

OneCubeOnly
08-04-2003, 12:42
That's hard to say then...because "mediciny" could define anything from the antiseptic smell that vodkas have to the menthol-type taste from a pot-stilled malt. I just know that when I taste blends, there's a DEFINITE rough, medicinal character from the grain whiskey which is absent in single-malts. Again, if you want to determine whether it's the peat smoke, taste an Irish--with few exceptions (eg. Connemara), they're not peated. Also, most mainstream Irishes are blends, so you'll get that same grainy (what *I* call medicinal) taste.

ratcheer
08-04-2003, 15:38
Well, you know I don't drink scotch, anymore, but when I did, JWB was one of my top choices. I preferred its full body and flavor over light scotches such as J&B, Chivas Regal, etc.

Tim

Nightcap
12-02-2004, 13:47
... The main malt in JWB is Talisker ...



I've read that it is Cardhu.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

OneCubeOnly
12-02-2004, 17:01
I've read that it is Cardhu.



I'm actually more inclined to believe it's Cardhu, especially after the whole relabeling/departure from "single malt" debacle that Cardhu had. Actually if you look here (http://www.whiskymag.com/whisky/brand/johnnie_walker/whisky275.html), you'll see Paul Pacult seems to believe Talisker is a major player. Also, check out this site (http://www.scotchwhisky.net/blended/johnnie_black.htm) which also lists Talisker.

I really don't know...I've seen different writeups.

greenbob
12-02-2004, 22:10
One Cube,

I found your websites interesting. I'm a very big Talisker fan. Talisker and Springbank are my favorite single malts. I would never have thought that JWBlack had Talisker. I've read on the Johnny Walker website that JWRed has Talisker, and that is more believable. But JWBlack seems to try to emulate the Speyside/Sherry style of Scotch. So I am very surprised.

And there was another little gem in your first website. Michael Jackson uses the word "Marijuana" to describe the palate. That's interesting.

Bamber
12-03-2004, 06:00
Cardhu, is the main malt in JW Black, although it does seem to contain a fair bit of Talisker. Medicinal flaours come from the malt whisky, when the malted barley is dried over peat. Grain tends to add vanilla and a harder, sharper edge, to blends.

chasking
12-03-2004, 07:37
Last year I went to a tasting hosted by Johnnie Walker where they offered tastes of several of the component malts that went into JW Black. The malts: Cardhu, Oban, Talisker, and Lagavulin. My eyebrows raised at the last two, since I don't detect much character of either in JWB, but of course anything tasted after Lagavulin will be weak in comparison. I'll have to try JWB again, in the interest of science. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Nightcap
12-03-2004, 08:45
I recall reading somewhere that there are about 40 different malts blended into JW Black, the youngest of them being 12 years old, and some reportedly much older. Man, what I'd give to spend a day with the blenders... that would be an education.

Nightcap
12-03-2004, 08:47
... And there was another little gem in your first website. Michael Jackson uses the word "Marijuana" to describe the palate. That's interesting.



Maybe he hadn't cleansed his palate. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Hedmans Brorsa
12-03-2004, 09:11
Talisker, and Lagavulin. My eyebrows raised at the last two, since I don't detect much character of either in JWB



Agreed. I bought my first bottle of JWB for many years this spring and I immediately reacted to the absence of the anticipated peat explosion. Maybe these brands are still featured, albeit in reduced quantities.

The over-abundance of liquorice made me think that Glen Rothes plays a big role but I have no evidence for this.

I donīt know about other countries but here in Sweden, before the single malt explosion, JWB was the average drinkerīs first choice of premium whisky. Presently, at my local liquor store, it has been reduced to a special-order-only item. The times they are a changinī

clayton
12-06-2004, 16:22
Johnny Walker is still extremely popular worldwide.
The sales numbers say so, anyway.



Reuters
Top 10 spirits brands in world
Thursday June 17, 1:12 pm ET

CHICAGO, June 17 (Reuters) - Privately held Bacardi Ltd. is near a deal to buy the Grey Goose high-end vodka business for more than $2 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The following are the top 10 spirit brands sold worldwide. The brands are ranked by name, type of spirit, the owner, and 2003 estimated retail sales in billons of U.S. dollars.

1. Bacardi Rum, Bacardi Ltd., $2.14
2. Smirnoff Vodka, Diageo Plc. (London:DGE.L - News), $2.13
3. Stolichnaya Vodka, Soyuzplodimport, $2.07
4. Hennessy Cognac, LVMH (Paris:LVMH.PA - News), $1.95
5. Absolut Vodka, Vin & Sprit/Fortune Brands (NYSE:FO - News), $1.52
6. Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Brown-Forman Corp. $1.48
7. Johnnie Walker Black Scotch-Whisky, Diageo Plc. (London:DGE.L - News), $1.46
8. Johnnie Walker Red Scotch-Whisky, Diageo Plc. (London:DGE.L - News) , $1.39
9. Baileys Liqueur, Diageo Plc. (London:DGE.L - News), $1.31
10. Ballantine's Scotch Whisky, Allied-Domecq Plc. (London:ALLD.L - News), $1.22

Gillman
12-06-2004, 16:33
It is also worth noting, perhaps, that this top ten are all heavy advertisers.

Gary

voigtman
12-06-2004, 17:44
Jeff, I have not tried any of the Johnnie Walker varieties yet, but I strongly recommend a bottle of Ardbeg 10 single malt. No sherry, no cloying sweetness, just peat and barley sweetness. I may (depends on money) pick up the sampler pack of Johnnies (200 mL bottles of Red, Black, Gold, and Blue) this Xmas season just to know what these are all about. Maybe a bottle of Johnnie Green "Pure malt" (aka "blended scotch malt whisky") as well. I know when my step-father owned a tavern in New Jersey when I was a hell of a lot younger, he used to give his lawyer a case of Johnnie Black every Christmas, and there were never any legal problems http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

Hedmans Brorsa
12-07-2004, 10:22
Johnny Walker is still extremely popular worldwide.




No doubt. About a year ago I even stumbled upon, what appeared to be an official list of the top ten selling whiskies of the world where they, somewhat curiously, had combined the sales of Red and Black label to make it the best selling whisky in the world (I donīt know why this "trick" was allowed.)

What I have witnessed over the recent five years or so,though, is people (letīs label them 'casual drinkers') who previously when they wanted to "hit it big" almost always bought Black label nowadays instead opt for Laphroiag or Glenmorangie.

I also have to assume that when the largest liquor store in a town with around 100, 000 inhabitants (my hometown, that is.) removes a former top seller from the shelves that they must have good reasons to do so.

Gillman
12-07-2004, 13:12
Johnnie Walker is good whisky, the Black Label still offers quality but the best in their line up is the Gold Label, in my view. Considering the whiskies are 18 years old and if not all-malt not so far off from that standard, the price (around $60 U.S. ) is well worth it.

The pros are pros for a reason and Gold Label shows why. Blue Label is good too but the Gold has a deeper palate and is better value.

Gary

Dave_in_Canada
12-07-2004, 15:54
None of the JW's will even come close to Ardbeg 10. Ardbeg is a really good way to scare off any bourbon drinker. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

Gillman
12-07-2004, 15:58
Well, different though, the symphony versus the soloist, right? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Gary

voigtman
12-07-2004, 17:40
None of the JW's will even come close to Ardbeg 10. Ardbeg is a really good way to scare off any bourbon drinker. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif


Probably! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif But Ardbeg 10 is one of my top 3 OB single malts, along with Lagavulin 16 and Laphroaig 10 cask strength. I always have these 3 on hand and I find bourbon stands up nicely to all three. In fact, I like to have a pour of bourbon then a dram of scotch or vice versa: the contrast is amazing. After a bourbon, say Eagle Rare 17 or Van Winkle 15, 107 proof, a dram of Ardbeg 10 is even more head-slappingly peaty than usual. Going scotch first, then bourbon, the bourbon is massively sweet, spicy, deep and complex: it just thunders! Same sort of thing with rye versus scotch. But not between bourbon and rye.
At this point, my whisk(e)y tastes seem to have evolved to almost equal liking for straight bourbon, single malt scotch and straight rye is only behind a little. I assume this is rare, but I find it bracing out in no man's whisk(e)y land. No way I would want to give up any of these three categories, but, on a desert island, I could get by with just one randomly chosen category, so long as the actual bottles were of good ones in their category (no Maker's Mark http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif or Loch Dhu http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/puke.gif, etc.). Cheers, Ed V.

Dave_in_Canada
12-07-2004, 17:50
Ed, what I had meant, Ardbeg would scare off a "non-scotch-drinking bourbon-lover"! I say this for the same reasons you do but I rarely combine the two in one evening because it's like eating an apple after an orange or vice versa.

By the way, you have great taste - similar to mine if I may be so bold - with the exception that I would remove the Laphroaig and substitute Talisker, which has the longest finish in the world and therefore worth every penny! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Bamber
12-08-2004, 01:04
Bourbon and Islay head to head is one of my favourite games. Especially good Islays vs. overstrength Pappy or the Antique collection. Its like Bruce Lee vs. Sugar Ray Leonard. They got different moves but they're both great.

Gillman
12-08-2004, 06:45
I think the scotch whisky industry takes it as an article of faith that malts are still very much a specialty business. I don't know the exact numbers but I think single malt represents only 5% or so of worldwide scotch whisky sales. That figure is growing and the proportion of malt sales in places accustomed to spirits clearly will grow faster than in areas which are relatively new to whisky. Hence the fall-off perhaps of interest in Johnnie Walker in some areas in favour of single malts priced not that differently and which offer the full taste associated with single malt whisky. But in large parts of the world the blends still rule, I believe this is so in parts of the far east, in Southern Europe and indeed still in the U.S.. I am sure Dewar's and Ballantine still sell in much greater numbers than any single malt even though the latter are a growing and influential part of the business. I think there is and will always be a good market for specialty or designer blends such as those produced by Compass Box Whiskies (see www.compassboxwhisky.com (http://www.compassboxwhisky.com)), for the high end commercial blends such as Johnnie Walker Gold and JW Black too of course and the excellent blends of moderate price such as Famous Grouse, Ballantine and others. But the business is I think, in general, going more towards the premium end in all categories - and I see this starting to happen in bourbon too as we discussed recently on the board. Oddly, in Canada people seem satisfied with almost the same range of Canadian whisky one saw in 1990, 1970, 1960 (not 1950 because in that year there was still some straight whisky, bourbon-type and rye, being sold in this country). This is partly because of an inherent conservatism here in such matters and partly that those willing to experiment spend their money on bourbon and scotch! But if the makers don't give us many choices at the top end, the money will go elsewhere, my point being though Canadians seem by and large satisfied with the regular run of Canadian (blended) whisky that has been available, pretty much unchanged, for generations..

Gary

Hedmans Brorsa
12-08-2004, 10:41
But in large parts of the world the blends still rule, I believe this is so in parts of the far east, in Southern Europe and indeed still in the U.S.



Gary, that was exactly what I was going to suggest. You simply took the words straight out of my mouth.

I live in a (by Swedish standards) comparatively large university town. Maybe that accounts for something?

Do Swedes have a more established whisky culture? Maybe, but what I do know for sure is that every time I treat my father to a whisky he always goes on about how whisky used be held in such a low esteem when he was young(er) and that Cognac was THE drink to have on display in your liquor cabinet if you wanted to appear high-brow.

Thanks, by the way, for your commendation on Gold label. This has long been on my "Shouldnīt I try this soon?"-list. As for the Red label, it seems like an eternity since I gulped this down. I wouldnīt even dare to pass any comment.

Gillman
12-08-2004, 11:11
The Gold Label is very good, malty, rich, complex, hard to beat when one is looking for a stylish but full dram of whisky. Regarding Sweden, the university presence in your town probably contributes to the increased interest in malts. Universities are repositories of international ideas (or should be). People who teach, and study, travel more than most others, so they would bump up against things such as single malt whisky. Also, Sweden in general has had - together with an ambivalent attitude towards alcohol -a rich history of making and drinking spirits. It makes sense Swedes would take an interest in the spirits of other Northern European countries including Scotland. As for brandy, the attitudes you described whereby scotch was derided by many in favour of brandy were characteristic of many European countries and even of England. The "de rigueur" spirit on the English drinks tray until well into the 20th century was brandy. Brandy, brandy and soda, brandy and water, even brandy and ginger (favoured by upwardly mobile rock groups in the early 1970's - "brandy and ginger, old boy!" declaimed Keith Moon (rather too often, unfortunately)) were a staple of the smart set. Only in Scotland (and special U.K. institutions such as the Army and Colonial Service) did the establishment favor whisky and not feel lesser as a result. (Good for them). But finally whisky gained ascendancy and, sweetest of victories, to a considerable degree in France itself. "Boire le whisky c'est tres chic, n'est-ce pas?" http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Gary

voigtman
12-08-2004, 15:37
Dave, I love Talisker too! One great malt I'm probably going to start keeping on hand all the time, since every time I try it, I am impressed with just how ggod it is. And I have not even opened my bottle of Talisker 25, cask strength yet. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif Others I like are Springbank 21 (holding my stashed bottles awhile longer yet), Ledaig 15 (but not that Ledaig 1974 aka Ledaig 20), the one Rare Malts Brora I've had (1975, 20 YO, cask strength), Port Ellens (several really good ones, including a Scott's Selection 1976, 21 YO), Bowmores that are not FWPed, and Caol Ila (have the Caol Ila 12 YO open now, an 18 YO in reserve and an old Flora & Fauna 15 YO waiting for a special time). I also like Highland Park 18 (the 12 is good as well), Clynelish 14 (just something about this I like), and quite a few others. Of course, my taste may be very bad: I am apparently one of the few souls who liked the Old Fettercairn 10 (it tasted very 'nutty' to me) and I find the Isle of Jura offerings to be drinkable, especially the Superstition, which has some peat. Anyway, I would pay you the same compliment: you have good taste in whisk(e)y! Cheers, Ed

voigtman
12-08-2004, 15:44
Sion, good to hear there is another person who likes the fireworks of going from a powerful Islay to an overproof bourbon and vice versa. I can certainly see why most folks would rather not, but the fighters analogy is right on. And I find it helps me pick out things in the tastes that I would otherwise never get. I'm miserable at tasting camphor, etc. in whisk(e)y, but comparing two head-to-head gives me the most pleasure unless I'm just with friends and we are BS'ing and drinking. Then it doesn't matter if it's just one brand of one type of whisk(e)y. It's all good! Cheers, Ed V.

Bamber
12-09-2004, 02:03
Ed,

I also enjoy sitting around with friends drinking whisky and chatting nonsense. It's always fun to pull out the big guns, from either region (Islay / Kentucky) just when people think it can't get any more intense. Old Grandad 114 vs. Caol Ila, GTS vs. Ardbeg Very Young. It *is* all good http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Your spot on about the contrast too. After chewing on Tarmac and seaweed, its nice to have a stack of maple syrup drenched pancakes.