Skip to Content

Gold Label Reserve Review: Everything you need to know!

Discover everything to know about the Johnnie Walker Gold Label in this in-depth review!

What is so special about the Gold Label Reserve?

The sweetest Johnnie Walker


This is the sweetest and smoothest along the Blue Label (Review). This is a whisky of recent creation aimed at new drinkers who will appreciate its overly easy tasting profile.

The Gold Label is a combination of several of the Speyside and Highlands brand’s distilleries, with the main focus on Clynelish; it has been created by Master Blender Jim Beveridge.

This blend has won multiple awards, including a total of four Double Golds at the San Francisco World Spirits Contest and four Le Monde Selection Grand Golds.

Gold Label tasting notes: How does it taste?

NoseAlcohol, honey, caramel, nutmeg
PalateHoney, vanilla, smoke
FinishLong, caramel, smoke
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toGreen Label, Blue Label, Double Black

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.

Does the Gold Label taste good?

Sweet and easy drinker


The Gold Label is an easy drinker, rich in honey and vanilla notes, with a just a whiff of smoke and bit of bitterness on the finish, but a nice whisky nonetheless.

This is the sweetest Johnnie Walker and a good alternative to newbies to Scotch Whisky and liquors in general.

Is Johnnie Walker Gold Label a good whisky?

A smoother Johnnie Walker Black Label

If you have already tasted the Black Label (Review) you are going to find the Gold Label to be a polished and refined iteration making an easier to drink whisky.

My complaint about this whisky is the price which provides little value for the money.

Is smooth and sweet but there are several Single Malt Whiskies (Gold Label is not a Single Malt) that are just as smooth such as Glenlivet or Glenfiddich delivering more bang on the buck.

Johnnie Walker Gold Label: Price

Prices are approximate and stated in local currency:

United States$75

What is it made of?

Blend of grain and malt whiskies

The Gold Label is a blend of various malt and grain whiskies crafted at various distilleries across Scotland all owned by Diageo, who is the parent company of Johnnie Walker along 200 other brands.

Johnnie Walker states that the core of this whisky comes from Clynelish with no additional information provided which is the norm as the company is secretive in how it produces its whiskies.

How to drink it?

Add a drop of water


Adding a drop or two of water to the Gold Label releases a tad of caramel making it even easier to drink.

Try sipping it the Scottish way, by adding a bit of water; just a bit, don’t drown it.

If you are not fond of the ways of the Scots try it on the rocks. When drinking on the rocks I always suggest to use large ice cubes to avoid dilution or buy a set of whisky stones.

They are made from granite that remains cold for a long time and make you look like a Pro.

Gold Label: Alternatives

The Black Label

The Black Label is a bit harsher but not bad and a drop of water is enough to bring additional caramel sweetness making it quite enjoyable.

There are several smooth Single Malt whiskies like Glenmorangie 10 or Auchentoshan that you should look into as they just as good (or better) and at a more attractive price than the Gold Label.

Johnnie Walker Gold Label: Cheat Sheet

Type of WhiskyScotch Blend
Age statementNo
Is it good?Yes
Is it top-shelf?No
Does it expire?No
Peaty?Very light smoke
Good for beginners?Yes
Good for cocktails?No
Good with Coke?No
Calories per shot108