Just a footnote or two to my earlier comments:
Last night I didn't notice anything that I would call a "medicine" taste.
Compared to the Teacher's Highland Cream that I drank the day before, the JW is fuller, richer, and less lively on the palate and at the finish. The finish is much more persistent (and consistent) as well.
The most remarkable thing I noticed is the distinct aroma of gingerbread. I was drinking from my Glencairn taster's glass, filled to just below the fattest part of the bowl, and I was sniffing from an inch or two away from the top of the glass. I found that the distance was critical in detecting this aroma.
Finally, as I sat, sniffed, and sipped, I couldn't help but notice the elegance of the JW Black Label bottle and how it conveys a very different image than the Teacher's bottle, with its stark label. I don't want to fire up the "blue collar" discussion again, but it's pretty clear to me that the JW is aimed at a different consumer, one who may well be a connoiseur of fine whisky, but who also wants to make sure that even the uninitiated will know it when they look at his liquor shelf.