Johnnie Walker Black Label and Double Black are both iconic whiskies in the Johnnie Walker family. As someone who has sampled both of these fine spirits, I can say with confidence that each offers a unique experience for whisky enthusiasts.
In this article, I will compare and contrast Black Label vs Double Black to shed light on their individual qualities, helping you to make an informed decision when selecting one or the other.
Johnnie Walker is known for its premium whisky blends, and the brand has released various expressions called Black Label, Blue Label, and Red Label. The Scottish whisky originated in a burgh of Kilmarnock, which is in East Ayrshire. Overall, John Walker established this brand in 1825 while he was a grocer working on High Street.
The Spirits Act of 1860 allowed companies to blend grain whiskies and malt whiskies. This began the wonderful era of having blended scotch whisky. Then, John Walker’s son and grandson have developed the brand into a powerhouse that we know and love today.
Johnnie Walker is now owned by Diageo, which is a multinational company. Currently, whisky is the go-to drink for people worldwide. Do you know much about Johnnie Walker Black Label vs Double Black? It’s time to learn!
In fact, many people want to know the difference and comparisons between Black Label vs Double Black, so here is my take on it.
At a Glance Comparison of Black label vs Double Black: Quick Look
For those of you in a rush, we’ve compiled an easy-to-read comparison of both of these whiskies to help you make an informed choice. I’ll expand on all of the points I’ve made later.
Notes: An exquisite concoction of winter spice, treacle and white pepper with a touch of citrus for contrast.
Nose/aroma: This full-bodied blend conveys a subtle smokiness and robust spiciness. Hints of barley, cereal, toffee, and herbs all come together harmoniously.
Palate: This delightful beverage is both sweet and refreshing, boasting a bouquet of fruity flavors including sultanas and mixed peels. A lingering finish lingers on the palate for an unforgettable experience!
Mouthfeel: The tantalising combination of oiliness and warmth that lingers on your tongue.
Age: Black label is a blend of over 40 whiskies, but the youngest is a 12 year
Barrels: Oak Casks
Type of grain used: The base grain whisky of a blend is typically composed of corn and wheat, which are then supplemented with malts.
Notes: A remarkably malty center characterises this brew, complemented by a surprisingly balanced peaty smoke.
Nose/Aroma: This particular beverage entices the senses with its slightly smoky and almost medicinal aroma. Delicate hints of vanilla, tar, citrus, barbecue sauce, and malt tantalize your taste buds in a truly unique way.
Palate: An ideal length of flavor, boasting notes of malt, boiled sweets, black pepper and a hint of cool smoke.
Mouthfeel: An exceptionally creamy texture, coupled with a robust body creates an incomparable experience.
Age: Crafted with only whiskies that have been matured for a minimum of 12 years. However, still younger than the Black Label.
Barrels: heavily charred casks made from oak
Type of grain used: rye, corn, barley, and wheat
Review of Johnnie Walker Black Label:
Johnnie Walker Black Label is a full-bodied whisky blend that has a distinctly smoky aroma, with hints of barley, cereal, toffee and herbs. On the nose, Black Label exudes subtle smokiness and robust spiciness that meld together harmoniously.
The combination of these notes creates an enticing bouquet of winter spice, treacle and white pepper with a touch of citrus for contrast. Additionally, Black Label is composed of over 40 whiskies—with the youngest being 12 years old—aged in oak casks.
The base grain whisky comprises corn and wheat, which are then supplemented with malts for additional flavour.
This exquisite blend provides an oiliness and warmth that lingers on the palate pleasantly and offers a complex profile on the nose with its smoky aroma, spices, cereals and herbs all coming together in harmony.
Johnnie Walker Black Label boasts a delightful blend of sweetness and refreshment upon tasting. On the palate it is characterised by an exquisite combination of fruity flavours, including sultanas and mixed peels. This unique flavour profile is further complemented by subtle notes of winter spice, treacle, white pepper, and citrus.
Johnnie Walker Black Label is an exquisite concoction that provides a complex profile both on the nose and on the palate. Its aroma boasts smokiness as well as robust spiciness that meld together harmoniously with hints of barley, cereal, toffee and herbs.
Black Label provides a refreshing yet balanced mixture of fruity flavours such as sultanas and mixed peels along with subtle notes of winter spice and citric tartness for contrast. All these complex flavours come together to create an unforgettable experience that everyone should try at least once!
The mouthfeel of Black Label is truly remarkable, with a tantalising combination of oiliness and warmth that lingers on your tongue for an exquisite experience. Black Label has a luxurious and creamy texture that is unmatched by other whisky blends.
Furthermore, Black Label offers just the right amount of warmth that complements its oiliness perfectly and creates an unforgettable moment when sampling this unique beverage. This harmonious sensation lingers on your tongue after every sip and leaves you wanting more. Its robust body also helps to create an incomparable experience that cannot be replicated by any other whisky blend.
Black Label’s delightful sweetness and refreshing fruit flavours make it an enjoyable experience for those looking for a balanced yet flavourful whisky.
Johnnie Walker Black Label is an excellent whisky blend that offers great value for money. At only £26/$32, Black Label provides a full-bodied whisky experience with a distinct smoky aroma and robust spiciness that meld together harmoniously.
Review of Johnnie Walker Double Black:
Johnnie Walker Double Black is a unique blend of whiskies with a subtle smokiness that has been aged for longer than Black Label. On the nose, Double Black offers a slightly smoky and almost medicinal aroma that tantalises your taste buds in a truly unique way. The smokiness from the Black Label is present but is edged with delicate hints of vanilla, tar, citrus, barbecue sauce and malt.
The flavour of the dram is characterised by blending multiple whiskies from Scotland’s West Coast and Islands. Notorious for their use of peat in the drying process provide their whiskies with an unmistakable smokey flavour.
The whisky’s base grain whisky consists of corn, wheat and malts for additional flavouring. It has been matured in heavily charred oak casks for 12 years or more to create an unmistakable smokiness combined with fruity and citrus notes.
Double Black has a remarkably malty centre complemented by a surprisingly balanced peaty smoke. The whisky delivers an intensely smoky taste that harmoniously combines with notes of vanilla, tar, citrus, barbecue sauce and malt to provide an extraordinary drinking experience.
Double Black’s creamy texture provides an incredibly smooth mouthfeel that lingers for a long time after each sip. The peaty smokiness also helps to balance out the sweetness of the malt and create a truly unique flavour profile that everyone should try at least once!
The whisky’s long finish also helps to enhance its smoky notes and balance out any heat from the alcohol content creating an unforgettable drinking experience every time. Furthermore, Double Black offers great complexity of flavours on both the nose and palate making it one of Johnnie Walker’s most iconic whiskies. When you take a sip, your taste buds will be tantalised with succulent sweetness along with hints of buttery smoothness, smoky woodiness and creamy custard. Creating an incomparable experience that cannot be replicated by other whisky blends.
Double Black by Johnnie Walker is a truly remarkable whisky blend. It is slightly more expensive than Black Label at £34/$41, but it’s worth every penny.
With an extra few quid, you can experience the incredible refinement of Johnnie Walker Double Black. This whisky blend has a unique flavour profile that is distinct from Black Label, but still aligns with traditional Scotch whisky flavours.
It is a younger iteration compared with the Black label but characterised by more smoke and peaty flavours.
Black Label vs Double Black: Food Pairings
Black Label Food Pairing:
Johnnie Walker Black Label pairs exceptionally well with roasted pork due to its subtle sweetness and fruit notes. Black Label’s distinct smoky aroma, robustness and full-bodied flavour make it an ideal companion to the salty and fatty flavours of roasted pork.
But where Johnnie Walker Black Label really comes into it’s own when pairing with a cheese board.
This whisky’s smoky aroma and robust spiciness make it the perfect accompaniment to a variety of cheese types. Black Label’s sweet and subtle fruit flavours also combine harmoniously with the creamy texture of soft cheeses, balancing out their richness while adding complexity to your experience.
Black Label’s depth of character makes it a great pairing for hard cheeses like cheddar, which pairs well with Black Label’s taste profile and provides contrast against its mild sweetness. Black Label also pairs well with semi-hard cheeses like gouda or manchego due to their light smokey tones that echo Black Labels smokiness.
Furthermore, Johnnie Walker Black Label also pairs exceptionally well with blue cheese due to its bold flavours and unique texture. The whisky’s smoky flavour complements the intense tanginess of blue cheese, giving it notes of caramelised sugar and intensifying its creaminess. Black Label’s dry finish helps to balance out the strong pungency from the blue cheese while offering you a delightful flavour explosion in your mouth!
Double Black Label Food Pairing:
Johnnie Walker Double Black’s smokiness pairs so well with red meats due to its unique combination of smoky, peaty and sweet flavours. The intense smoky flavour of Double Black helps to balance out the rich and fatty qualities found in red meats such as lamb and steak. Furthermore, the peatiness of the whisky enhances the umami notes of the meat, providing a more palatable experience for your taste buds. Additionally, the sweetness of Double Black helps to balance out any strong gamey flavours from wild game meats such as venison.
The smoky aroma also provides an additional depth of flavour which works to stimulate your senses when paired with red meats. As you take a sip, you will be able to taste all the nuances of Double Black’s flavour profile including notes of vanilla, tar, citrus, barbecue sauce and malt. This unique combination further works to enhance your eating experience by creating complex layers that perfectly integrate with each other in harmony.
Overall, Johnnie Walker Double Black is an excellent companion for red meat dishes due to its balanced yet intense smokiness that provides a truly exceptional drinking experience every time you enjoy it!
Black Label Cocktail suggestions:
Johnie Walker recommends highball cocktails work well with your Black Label.
Johnnie Walker Black Label and Ginger Ale work together harmoniously to create a light, refreshing beverage that can be enjoyed any time of the day. The light sweetness and citrusy notes of Black Label complement the bitter yet sweet flavour of ginger ale perfectly.
This combination is perfect for those looking for an easy-to-make cocktail which doesn’t require too many ingredients or a lot of effort to make. Simply pour Black Label into a glass filled with ice, top with ginger ale and add a lime wedge for extra zestiness – no cocktail shaker required!
The Black Label’s smoky aromas combine well with the spicy flavour of the ginger drink, creating deep and complex layers in your sip. Black label’s mild sweetness also helps to balance out the sharpness from the ginger ale while adding complexity to your drink.
Furthermore, Black Label’s robust flavours make it an ideal match for ginger ale as they provide contrast against each other while still maintaining harmony in their taste profile. This combination provides you with all the classic flavours you would expect from whisky without being overpowering on its own. In fact, this blend may even bring out some hidden notes that weren’t apparent when drinking Black Label alone!
All in all, Johnnie Walker Black Label and Ginger Ale are a perfect match due to their complementary flavour profiles and complexity when mixed together. Enjoying this blend is easy to do and can provide you with an enjoyable experience every time you enjoy it!
Double Black Cocktail suggestions:
Johnnie Walker Double Black is the perfect whisky to incorporate into a “Penicillin cocktail” due to its intense smokiness. Traditionally the whisky Penicillin Cocktail is made with Lagavulin 16, a notoriously heavily peated whisky. However, swapping out for the Johnnie Walker Double Black will make it a smoother and more palatable smokey whiskey cocktail.
The smoky flavours of Double Black are aligned with the main focus of Penicillin; which is to provide a contrast between sweet and smokey flavours. The smokey quality of Double Black creates a robust yet balanced flavour profile in your drink, making it an ideal choice for this cocktail.
Double Black’s unique combination of peatiness and sweetness helps to create complexity while providing a pleasant drinking experience. Its intense smokiness brings out additional notes such as tar, citrus, barbecue sauce and malt when mixed together with other ingredients in the Penicillin cocktail.
Furthermore, its mild sweetness works to balance out any overpowering flavours from the other ingredients while providing contrast against them.
Final Thoughts: Black Label vs Double Black
Johnnie Walker Black Label vs Double Black are two iconic whiskies from Johnnie Walker, each offering unique flavour profiles that appeal to different palates. Black Label is light and refreshing with sweet and citrusy notes, perfect for creating an easy-to-make cocktail or enjoying on its own.
On the other hand, Double Black has intense smoky flavours due to its peatiness, making it a great choice for a Penicillin Cocktail. Both whiskies offer complexity when mixed with other ingredients, but Black Label will bring out hidden flavour notes while Double Black adds smokiness to any mixture.
No matter which whisky you choose, Johnnie Walker Black Label or Double Black are sure to provide a smooth and enjoyable drinking experience.
When it comes to Johnnie Walker whiskies, Black Label and Double Black are both excellent choices. However, for me I prefer the smoky intensity of Double Black. Its unique combination of peatiness and sweetness provide a complexity that is hard to beat when mixed with other ingredients like in the Penicillin Cocktail.
The intense smokey flavour brings out additional notes such as tar, citrus, barbecue sauce and malt which makes it an enjoyable drinking experience every time! Ultimately what sets Double Black apart from Black Label is its ability to elevate any cocktail you choose while still providing a smooth finish.
So if you’re looking for something special, reach for Johnnie Walker’s Double Black whisky – your taste buds won’t be disappointed!
Interesting in learning more about Johnnie Walker Whiskies why not check out our other comparison between Johnnie Walker Red and Black.