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Johnnie Walker Black Label vs Blue Label: Discover the better!

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

Johnnie Walker Black Label

johnnie-walker-black-label-marcas-de-whisky
  • Nose: Vanilla, orange zest, nectarine
  • Palate: Smoke, roasted malt, caramel, vanilla
  • Finish: Long, fruity, peppery, smoke
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks
  • Similar to: Glenfiddich 12, Double Black

On the nose, there is vanilla off the gate, followed by orange zest, nectarine and a whiff of alcohol.

On the palate, body feels somewhat thin lacking in texture. Johnnie Walker Black Label has a mildly sweet taste, with a flavor rich in peat. There are also hints of caramel and vanilla coming coming late to the party.

The finish has some peat, black pepper, salt, caramel and a bit of warmth but is not harsh.

Overall, the Black Label is a reliable whisky, striking a good balance of smoke and sweetness, with peat smoke and charred oak barrel smoke.

Quite smooth but with a warm finish that does not overwhelm. Nevertheless, on a lot of ice as it is commonly served it totally hits the spot.

The Black Label serves as an introductory bottle to smoky whisky, those with a hint coming from the peats used to dry the malted barley.

If you are curious about Scotch peaty whisky this is a good starting point due to its affordable price before trying more serious stuff like the Ardbeg or the Talisker.

Overall, Black Label is one of the best age statement blends in the market in its current price range and a good choice for an “everyday Scotch”.

Black Label facts:

  • The Black Label is a blend of 40 whiskies made from grain and malts aged for at least 12 years from all over Scotland.
  • The blend includes peaty whiskies from Islay, sweet and salty whiskies from Speyside along some malts coming from the Scottish Highlands.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

johnnie-walker-blue-label
  • Nose: Oak, dried fruits, berries, citrus
  • Palate: Smoke, roasted malt, caramel, vanilla
  • Finish: Caramel, smoke, chocolate, malt
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat
  • Similar to: Balvenie 21, Yamazaki 12

Taste:

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.

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!

What’s the difference between the Johnnie Walker Black Label and the Blue Label?

  • Black Label has a 12 year statement while the Blue Label has no age statement.
  • Both are blends of malt and grain whiskies although Johnnie Walker claims that only the finest barrels are chosen to be part of the blend.

Johnnie Walker Black Label vs Blue Label: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Black Label$33
Blue Label$165

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

The Blue Label is Johnnie Walker’s best whisky

  • The Blue Label is the best Johnnie Walker whisky despite the low proof and not having an age statement. Johnnie Blue is a delicious whisky, incredibly smooth and tasty that is well worth sipping at least once.
  • The Black Label serves a different purpose, it is a reliable whisky that you can use as an “everyday Scotch” and makes a good entry-level bottle to the world of peaty whisky before going for the peaty monsters from Islay.

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