Photo Credit: Jared Paul Stern
Johnnie Walker’s red, black and blue label blended Scotch whiskies are justly famous the world over. Now the storied 200-year-old brand is embarking on a new era with the introduction of their Platinum Label, a perfectly blended 18-year-old whisky inspired by the Walker family tradition of creating “private blends” for favored customers and company directors. These were never made available for sale to the public and were meant to enjoy at exclusive gatherings. Johnnie Walker’s Master Blender Jim Beveridge carefully selected the whiskies used in blending Platinum Label from a limited number of the very best casks, sourced from only 20 to 25 distilleries known for their exceptional character. The precise whiskies used for the bespoke blend are of course a closely held secret, but Speyside’s single malt’s smooth, slightly sweet traits and Islay peaty smokiness are readily apparent.
There are grain whiskies included in the blend as well, each carefully aged for a minimum of 18 years — though some are older than that. Aromas ranging from tart tangerines to woody almonds mingle together, while the taste is slightly waxy, fruity and sweet. The flavor is accompanied by mild astringency and subtle smokiness for a rich, tangy and fruitful profile. Platinum Label, which has a suggested retail price of $110 per bottle, marks the biggest launch for the brand, which boasts Mad Men siren Christina Hendricks as its brand ambassador, since the introduction of Blue Label. Johnnie Walker, founded in 1820, is the world’s number-one selling Scotch Whisky brand, sold in over 200 countries worldwide.