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J&B vs Johnnie Walker Red Label: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between J&B vs Johnnie Walker Red Label is this in-depth comparison and decide which Scotch is better for You!

J&B Rare Blend Scotch

  • Nose: Alcohol, fruit, oak, citrus
  • Palate: Oak spice, black pepper, toffee, vanilla
  • Finish: Oak spice, black pepper, toffee
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Cocktails
  • Similar to: Cutty Sark


On the nose you get alcohol off the gate. As you let it develop a faint fruity note appears, followed by oak and citrus.

On the palate, the J&B delivers oak spice bitterness and black pepper up-front, with vanilla and caramel coming behind trying to bring some balance to this dram.

The finish is short, somewhat warm, with more oak spice to it, along black pepper and a touch of toffee-

Is it good?

Definitely not the best sipping whisky, as it feels bitter, spicy and warm. Although it becomes better when mixed as its harsh tasting notes add a kick to cocktails.

Drink it in a soda or mixed with ginger ale and you will by happy with it.

Drink it neat or rocks and you will feel the pain.

This whisky is a blend of 42 grain and malt whiskies from across Scotland. J&B claims that a good portion of them come from the Speyside region located in Northeastern, Scotland.

Speyside whiskies ( are renowned for their creamy texture and smooth palate; the J&B does not reflect a Speyside character, though.

J&B facts:

  • J&B (Justerini & Brooks) is one of the oldest whisky blenders as it was founded in 1749.
  • It has been a supplier of the British monarchy since 1761; I wonder if the royals really drink this Scotch.
  • The J&B Whisky took its current form in 1933 when it was introduced to the United States after prohibition.
  • The brand is currently owned by Diageo, who also owns several other brands such as Johnnie Walker, Casamigos, Don Julio among 200 other brands.

Johnnie Walker Red Label

  • Nose: Black pepper, leather, nail polish
  • Palate: Pepper, caramel, oak spice, leather, tobacco
  • Finish: Short, black pepper
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Highball
  • Similar to: Jim Beam


The nose hits you with a spicy blast at first, followed by a leathery note and nail polish.

On the palate, the Red Label has a thin body, is warm and hits you with spice and pepper providing a not pretty mouthfeel. There is some butterscotch coming behind, along a leathery note and tobacco.

The finish is short, which is a good thing as you do not want to extend the pain, it’s also warm and peppery.

Is it good?

The Red Label is not a good sipper, the flavor is too peppery and boozy providing a bad experience.

It gets better when served on a high ball as mineral water tunes down the heat and spice, which is not a great achievement as everything gets better when served in a highball.

Overall, the Red Label is not a good whisky and the worst Johnnie Walker, this is not something I would recommend neither to newbies or for those who value a smooth dram.

If you are drinking on a budget there are better options out there such as the Dewar’s or Jameson which mix incredibly well in any cocktail.

Red Label facts:

  • Johnnie Walker Red Label has been the best-selling Scotch whisky across the globe since 1945, although not the best-selling in neither in the UK nor Scotland.
  • This brand is owned by Diageo a British spirits giant, with an extensive portfolio in the industry including Casamigos, Don Julio, Captain Morgan, Talisker, Bulleit and a zillion other brands.

J&B vs Red Label: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

J&B $33
Johnnie Walker Red Label$29

J&B vs Red Label: which is better?

The J&B is moderately better

WhiskeyJ&BRed Label
  • Let’s be honest, these are two of the worst whiskies. They are harsh, peppery and bitter making horrible sippers.
  • But if you force to decide between these two I would stay with the J&B as it’s more bearable.
  • It does not taste nice but it drinks nicely in a highball.

Look into my roundup containing the best whiskies under $50 where you will find better tasting options!

What do J&B and the Red Label have in common?

They both belong to Diageo, a British conglomerate owner of a zillion brands in the spirits business. They even own brands like Don Julio, Casamigos, Bulleit Bourbon, Captain Morgan among many, many others.

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