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Blue Label vs Gold Label: Which Whisky is Better for You?

Discover the differences between Johnnie Walker Gold Label vs Blue Label in this in-depth comparison and decide which is better for you!

Johnnie Walker Gold Label

  • Nose: Alcohol, honey, caramel, nutmeg
  • Palate: Honey, vanilla, smoke
  • Finish: Long, caramel, smoke
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Similar to: Glenmorangie 10, Glenlivet 12


The nose is a bit off-putting as it has a touch of ethanol but fades away if you let it breathe.

Flavor is sweet, with plenty of honey, malt and light smoke yet spices are present.

It has a smoky aftertaste, rich in oak and honey, with a bit of warmth and a bitter hint.

It has many of the flavors of Johnnie Walker Black Label with a more pronounced smoothness.

Is it good?

Overall, the Gold Label is not the most complex of whiskies but also hard to dislike. This is an easy drinker, pleasantly warm and soothing.

Gold Label is a whisky of recent creation characterized for for being smooth and sweet but a little too pricey for a blend when you can find several better single malt whiskies at this price range.

Look into my roundup containing the best whiskies under $100 where you will find better deals.

Gold Label facts:

  • Gold Label is a blend. The whisky is crafted by blending various grain and single malts whiskies coming from all across Scotland.
  • Gold Label does not show an age statement. Johnnie Walker does not disclose the minimum aging period of the whiskies in the blend.
  • The Gold Label is relatively new as it was introduced to the United States in 2013. This whisky came as a substitute to the good old Johnnie Walker 18 that had an age statement.
  • Johnnie Walker does not share information on the exact sources and percentages that comprise the Gold Label. What we know is that a prominent amount of the blend comes from the Clynelish distillery, renowned for producing smooth and fine single malts.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

  • Nose: Oak, dried fruits, berries, citrus
  • Palate: Caramel, smoke, chocolate, malt
  • Finish: Medium, light smoke, dried fruit
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat
  • Similar to: Macallan 15, Black Label


The nose offers oak at first, followed by a light smoky note. There are hints of berries and citrus coming behind.

On the palate, the Blue Label feels creamy, rich in caramel up-front, followed by a malty flavor and a hint of chocolate. There is a bit of smoke making it incredibly rewarding.

The finish has a solid length, light in oak and smoke with a rich dried fruit note.

Is it good?

I would summarize the Blue Label by saying “smooth, smoky and delicious”.

This whisky is incredibly smooth yet quite flavorful with more peat than I was expecting but still just a hint and nothing off-putting for those who are not into peaty whisky.

The Blue Label is remarkably gentle on the palate, very smooth, slightly sweet with smoky cigar-like aftertaste. It does not burn as it goes down easy and nicely.

This whisky could definitely use more proof (ABV) and become a much better offering; a mere 80 proof (40% ABV) is too low for a whisky at this price but still good enough to make the best Johnnie Walker!

Blue Label facts:

  • Johnnie Walker is a blend of grain whiskies and a blend of malt whiskies from different distilleries; this is not a single malt Scotch.
  • Blue Label has no age statement. Johnnie Walker does not disclose the minimum aging of the whiskies that comprise the blend.
  • According to the information provided by Johnnie Walker only 1 in 10,000 casks is selected to be part of the blend. It makes me think that Johnnie Walker must have a zillion casks in storage as the Blue Label is everywhere to be found as every duty free store in the world carries a generous stock.
  • Each bottle of Blue Label is offered in a silk-lined box with a certificate of authenticity and a serial number. It makes a good token!

Johnnie Walker Blue Label vs Gold Label: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Johnnie Walker WhiskyPrice
Gold Label$80
Blue Label$164

Johnnie Walker Blue Label vs Gold Label: Which is better?

The Blue Label reigns supreme

  • Blue Label is the best Johnnie Walker Whisky. This is an amazing dram and the king of blends. It is pricy for a low proof whisky without age statement but its delicious.
  • Gold Label is not bad, it tastes pretty much like a friendlier Black Label but for that money you can get several better whiskies with similar characteristics.

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