As a whisky enthusiast, I have been intrigued by Johnnie Walker’s range of whiskies for years. So when I was given an opportunity to compare these two extraordinary whiskies side-by-side, I jumped at it!
When it comes to Scotch whisky, Johnnie Walker is a name that needs no introduction. Its history runs deep and its recognition is undisputed, making it an unrivalled staple among whisky connoisseurs everywhere.
While the Blue and Black Labels are considered top-notch whiskies. The Blue label is more so given its hefty price tag of £179.95/$215. So I’m going to help break down everything you need to know to make the best choice for you and whether splashing out really reaps rewards.
In this article, I will compare Johnnie Walker Blue vs Black Labels looking at their unique characteristics and ultimately helping you decide which one best suits your palate.
A brief background History: Fascinating facts about Johnnie Walker
Before we dive into Johnnie Walker Black label vs Blue label we thought we’d be best discussing a little bit the history of the brand.
Johnnie Walker is a time-honoured brand originating in Kilmarnock, Scotland over two centuries ago. The company’s creator, John Walker, created and marketed blended whiskies under the renowned label since the mid-1800s. This iconic whiskey has played an integral part of history for generations!
His brand rapidly gained popularity and remained in the Walker family for generations. However, it wasn’t until much later that the Blue Label and Black Label were unveiled.
Alexander Walker II was determined to craft something extraordinary. He developed the Black Label, a more sophisticated blend of Johnnie Walker Red Label that is aged longer and has an intricate flavour profile and aroma. Perfect for those with a mature palate!
In addition, Black Label became one of the top-selling blended Scotch whiskies in a very short period, and continues to be celebrated by both experts and novices alike.
Additionally, it was not until the 1980s that Johnnie Walker’s Blue Label entered the market. This premium brand created this blend as a testimony to superior taste, rumoured to have only whiskies of 25 years or more being used in its creation. With such an exquisite flavour profile and possible whiskies aged up to 60 years old included in its recipe, Blue Label is truly second-to-none.
Moreover, the Johnnie Walker Labels have persisted over generations and are highly favoured among whisky drinkers. They both signify the ideal harmony of tradition and modernity and are a reflection of the brand’s dedication to quality and artisanship.
At a Glance Comparison of Blue vs Black Label: Quick Look
Nose: Aromatic and full-bodied, this beverage is infused with oak, crisp spices and dried fruits. Delectable hints of pastries, berries, aniseed, cedar wood and a touch of citrus provide the perfect finish to every sip.
Palate: Smooth and harmonious. Delicious toffee with a hint of faint smokiness. Chocolate, light grassy notes and robust malt flavours complete the profile.
Mouthfeel: A luxuriously smooth and velvety sensation on the palate.
Finish: An enchanting bouquet of floral and oak dominate the experience, with a light plume of smoke from highland-style scotch further enhancing this delightful dram. Fruity notes intermingle with spices and honey for an unforgettable finish.
Age: No age statement but is rumoured to include whiskies up to 60years old.
Cask/Barrels: Our selection of rare casks from the Speyside and Highland distilleries features delicate Cardhu, warm Benrinnes, along with Islay malts for a signature smoky flavour. Additionally, we offer Clynelish – an ideal balance between delicacy and warmth that elevates any occasion.
Strength: ABV 40% / 80 proof
Price: £180 / $216
Nose: Aromas of winter spice and treacle, kissed with a subtle hint of white pepper and sprinkled with a delicate citrus finish.
Palate: An aromatic flavour bursting with woodsy smoke and warm spices, complemented by barely malty cereal tones and creamy toffee. Finishing off with a unique herbal zest.
Mouthfeel: A luscious and comforting oiliness lingers on the palate.
Finish: Aromatic notes of sultanas and mixed peels linger on the palate, delivering a lingering yet sweet flavour that is truly divine.
Cask/Barrels: Oak Casks
Strength: ABV 40% / 80 proof
Price: £26 / $32
Blue Label Review
I am excited to taste and review Johnnie Walker’s legendary Blue Label. This iconic brand has been around since the mid-1800s, captivating generations with its unique flavour profile and aroma.
The Johnnie Walker Blue Label is a premium blend created to represent superior taste. Rumoured to have whiskies aged up to 60 years old included in its recipe, this whisky offers a complex flavour profile of oak, crisp spices, dried fruits, pastries, berries, aniseed, cedar wood and a touch of citrus.
The palette is smooth and harmonious with delicious toffee hints of faint smokiness along with chocolate notes and robust malt flavours that come together perfectly.
The Johnnie Walker Blue Label offers a luxurious and velvety mouthfeel that truly stands out from other whiskeys. Every sip is a pleasant indulgence, with its creamy and smooth texture coating the palate with each inhalation. It is an unparalleled experience in whisky tasting, one that beckons even seasoned connoisseurs to savour its unique taste.
The Johnnie Walker Blue Label is crafted to deliver a truly extraordinary experience. The use of rare casks from Scotland’s Speyside and Highland distilleries – featuring delicate Cardhu, warm Benrinnes alongside Islay malts for a signature smoky flavour – gives Johnnie Walker Blue Label its distinctive character. Furthermore, the addition of Clynelish lends an ideal balance between delicacy and richness, elevating any occasion.
Once in the mouth, Johnnie Walker Blue Label leaves behind a luxuriously smooth sensation that lingers on the palate for some time. It is this velvety mouthfeel that makes Johnnie Walker Blue Label so desirable among whisky aficionados everywhere.
A luxuriously smooth and velvety sensation lingers on the palate while an enchanting bouquet of floral and oak dominate the experience with a light plume of smoke from highland-style scotch further enhancing this delightful dram.
When it comes to value for money when discussing Johnnie Walker Blue Label it’s a tough topic as its £179.95/$216…
Johnnie Walker Blue Label is certainly a luxurious treat when it comes to value for money. The unique blend of rare and aged whiskies, coupled with its complex flavour profile, make Johnnie Walker Blue Label an ideal choice for whisky connoisseurs seeking an exquisite experience. From the aromatic notes of woodsy smoke and warm spices on the palate to the luscious oiliness that lingers on the tongue, Johnnie Walker Blue Label offers a truly indulgent experience that cannot be found in any other whisky.
The selection of rare casks from Scotland’s Speyside and Highland distilleries provides Johnnie Walker Blue Label with its signature character, combining delicate Cardhu and Benrinnes with Islay malts for a smoky finish. The addition of Clynelish balances out delicacy and richness, elevating Johnnie Walker Blue Label from just another whisky to something truly special.
Its price may be higher than other whiskeys but Johnnie Walker Blue Label offers unbeatable value for money. After all, what else can you find that has been created using whiskies up to 60 years old? In addition to being a luxurious treat, Johnnie Walker Blue Label also makes for a great gift option – perfect for weddings, birthdays or anniversaries.
When it comes to Johnnie Walker Blue Label, you are paying more but you are getting much more in return – a unique taste experience unlike anything else on the market.
Black Label Review
Johnnie Walker Black Label is a world-renowned icon of whisky, loved by whisky connoisseurs around the globe for its smooth and complex flavour. This iconic blend of up to 12 rare whiskies from Scotland’s Speyside and Highland distilleries creates a distinctively rich taste with a hint of smoke and sweet dried fruit. Johnnie Walker Black Label is blended with whiskies aged for up to 18 years, resulting in a unique and balanced flavour.
Upon tasting Johnnie Walker Black Label, one can expect to experience an abundance of delightful flavours such as peaty smokiness, lightly roasted nuts, malty sweetness, and subtle hints of oak. The long finish reveals spicy undertones that linger long after the glass has been empty. Johnnie Walker Black Label provides a truly unforgettable experience with its unmistakable complexity combined with smoothness.
The Johnnie Walker brand’s commitment to quality shines through in Johnnie Walker Black Label. It is produced using only the finest ingredients including barley malt whiskies and grain whiskies that are meticulously blended together at Johnnie Walker’s Airdrie facility in Scotland – each batch carefully crafted according to the traditions set forth by Johnnie Walker himself over 200 years ago.
Johnnie Walker Black Label is perfect for any occasion on its own or when paired with other drinks like ginger ale or cola to enhance its distinctive flavour even further. With Johnnie Walker Black Label’s iconic square bottle design and unique colouring, it is easily recognisable as one of the world’s most respected brands of whisky making it an ideal gift for special occasions or just to treat yourself whenever you wish!
Johnnie Walker Black Label is an excellent value for money and can be purchased at a very reasonable price of just £26/$32.
The Johnnie Walker brand’s commitment to quality shines through in Johnnie Walker Black Label, making it perfect for any occasion on its own or when paired with other drinks like ginger ale or cola to enhance its distinctive flavour even further. With Johnnie Walker Black Label’s iconic square bottle design and unique colouring, it is easily recognisable as one of the world’s most respected brands of whisky making it an ideal gift for special occasions or just to treat yourself whenever you wish!
Overall Johnnie Walker Black Label offers unbeatable value for money given its exceptional quality ingredients and unique taste experience. In addition to being affordable enough to buy regularly or give as a gift, this whisky also provides an unforgettable experience due to its complexity combined with its smoothness that lingers on the palate long after tasting.
Comparing Johnnie Walker Blue vs Black: Which should you go for?
Johnnie Walker An unparalleled gift idea for any special moment, Blue Label is a remarkable Scotch whisky blend that Johnnie Walker’s Master Blender has skillfully crafted with up to 20 of their rarest and oldest whiskies from Scotland — some aged up to 60 years! Indulge in the complexity and luxury of this one-of-a-kind drink. Johnnie Walker Blue Label is a luxurious whisky that strikes the perfect balance between complexity and smoothness. It offers an inviting sweet entrance with a smoky finish, as well as delightful hints of honey and dark chocolate, making it an ideal spirit for any sophisticated connoisseur!
Johnnie Walker Blue provides an unparalleled luxurious experience that can’t be found anywhere else. With up to 20 different aged whiskies blended together, this one-of-a-kind taste profile surpasses the average and exceeds expectations. Compared to the more consumer level Black Label whisky, Johnnie Walker Blue offers a unique complexity of flavour unlike any other on the market today – making it truly remarkable. In addition to this, Johnnie Walker Blue also contains some of the rarest single malt and grain whiskies available – making it an extraordinary whisky both in terms of quality as well as complexity.
Johnnie Walker Blue can be enjoyed on its own or paired with other drinks like ginger ale or cola to enhance its flavour even further. The iconic square bottle design and deep blue colouring make Johnnie Walkers Blue label easily recognisable as one of the world’s most respected brands of whisky – perfect for any occasion or simply just to treat yourself whenever you wish! Although Johnnie Walker Blue Label may cost more than Johnnie Walkers Black Label, this price difference is well worth it given its exquisite taste experience filled with richness and complexity that won’t be found elsewhere.
Is Johnnie Walker Blue label worth it?
When comparing the two Johnnie Walker Blue vs Black Whiskies it’s very difficult to overlook the fact Blue Label is 8x the price of Black label. So we felt we had to address this when comparing the two.
In my opinion, Blue Label is definitely worth the extra money for its uniqueness and complexity. The blend of up to 20 rare and aged whiskies from Scotland that have been expertly crafted by Johnnie Walker’s Master Blender results in an exquisite taste experience that starts with a sweet start followed by a smoky finish. Johnnie Walker Blue Label offers a taste profile like no other, containing some of the rarest single malt and grain whiskies available. In addition, Johnnie Walker Blue Label also has initial notes of dark chocolate and honey, making it the perfect whisky for any lover of luxury.
Searching for a luxurious whisky to give as a gift or simply enjoy yourself? Look no further than Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Despite its higher price tag, this world-famous spirits is worth every dime due to the incomparable quality of its components and enthralling taste profile – making it an absolute must-have for any true connoisseur searching for something truly special!
Food Pairing: Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Johnnie Walker Blue Label is a luxurious whisky that has become renowned for its distinct and complex flavour. With notes of honey, toasted oak, and warm spice, Johnnie Walker Blue Label is an ideal pairing for smoky charcuterie. The sweet smokiness of the meat pairs perfectly with the subtle sweetness in Johnnie Walker Blue Label – creating an unforgettable experience.
When Johnnie Walker Blue Label is paired with smoked meats such as smoked bacon or ham, the contrasting flavours create a unique and harmonious balance on the palate. The salty, smoky notes from the charcuterie are balanced by Johnnie Walker Blue’s smooth texture and subtle sweetness. This combination creates a sophisticated and enjoyable taste experience that will leave you wanting more.
In addition to smoked meats, Johnnie Walker Blue Label also pairs nicely with other culinary delights such as dark chocolate, rich cheeses such as cheddar and brie, nuts like macadamias and almonds, berries like blackberries or currants, and fruit pastes such as fig jam or quince paste. The combination of Johnnie Walker’s smooth flavour profile with these bolder ingredients creates a truly unique experience that cannot be found in any other whisky blend.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label can be enjoyed neat or over ice to release its full flavour profile or it can be used as an ingredient in classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned or Manhattan where it adds a luxurious complexity to each sip. No matter how you choose to enjoy Johnnie Walker Blue Label – paired with charcuterie or on its own – you are sure to have an unforgettable experience every time!
Food Pairing: Johnnie Walker Black Label
We have already featured an extensive food pairing within our other blog on the topic of Red Label vs Black Label which you read here.
So in this article, I thought it’d be interesting to discuss an interesting pairing.
Johnnie Walker Black Label’s subtle smokiness and robust flavour make it the perfect companion to chargrilled chicken tikka. The whisky’s smooth, balanced sweetness cuts through the spicier elements of the tikka, while its complex notes of oak, honey and apple bring out the sweetness in the chicken. Johnnie Walker Black Label also has an inviting aroma which will ensure your guests are tantalised before they even take their first bite.
Experience the extraordinary flavour sensation of a Johnnie Walker Black Label when enjoyed neat with chargrilled chicken tikka. Savouring it without mixers or ice will allow all its nuances to shine through, providing a superior taste that complements and enriches your meal. With its remarkable depth of flavour, Johnnie Walker Black Label is more than just an afterthought – it’s essential!
Johnnie Walker Black Label’s signature smoky taste makes the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats like charcoal-cooked chicken tikka, bringing both subtle and robust flavours with each sip. Not only does this whisky enhance the smokey goodness of your meal but it also adds an additional layer of flavour that elevates your dining experience.
Johnnie Walker Black Label is an ideal choice for those looking to create something lighter or sweeter. Adding a splash of lime juice or mango extract can make this whisky perfect for any classic cocktail like the old-fashioned and manhattan! Whether making drinks for just one person, or entertaining a large crowd, you’ll be sure to wow them with these delicious cocktails made with Johnnie Walker Black Label.
Cocktails: Johnnie Walker Blue Label
For such a luxurious whisky it would appear almost wasteful to add this masterful blend to a cocktail. So instead we found this rather interesting fact from Diageo’s Global Gastronomer Mark Moriarty when discussing Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
“Any whisky would be overpowered by the richness of the dish if served neat, so I feel that it would be best with some soda water. The fizz from the soda water will bypass the buttery richness of the sauce, allowing the delicious flavours of the whisky to flourish.”
We thought this was an interesting consideration if you were pairing your Blue label with a meal.
Cocktails: Johnnie Walker Black Label
Rob Roy also known as a “Scotch Manhattan” is a perfect use of Johnnie Walker Black Label.
Johnnie Walker Black Label is an ideal whisky for crafting a Rob Roy. The smooth and balanced sweetness of the whisky wonderfully complements bold ingredients, such as vermouth and bitters, in a traditional Manhattan cocktail. Its subtle smokiness adds yet another layer to the drink’s complexity; while its robust flavour brings out the underlying richness and sweetness within each sip. A truly delightful beverage with every pour! The invigorating scent of Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky makes it an ideal choice for crafting a classic Rob Roy cocktail. Whether sipped neat or with ice, its pronounced palette will help make your creation stand out from other whiskies in the same category. Enjoy!
Johnnie Walker Blue vs Black: Conclusion
The Johnnie Walker Blue vs Black debate: they are two of the most popular whiskies in the world, but they have their own unique qualities that make them different. Johnnie Walker Blue is best enjoyed neat or with a few drops of water to bring out its subtle nuances, while Johnnie Walker Black can be used for cocktails such as Rob Roys due to its smokiness and robust flavour.
So depending on your preferred drinking method we recommend choosing based on that. However, we think Blue Label is definitely worth tasting at least once for any whisky enthusiast.
Ultimately, both Johnnie Walkers offer something special when it comes to whisky – whether you’re looking for an exquisite sipping experience or a classic cocktail recipe, there’s sure to be one from this iconic brand that will satisfy your taste buds!
Johnnie Walker Blue Label is my favourite whisky of the two Johnnie Walker brands for its unique and complex flavour profile. It has notes of vanilla, honey, and apples that come through in a smooth, luxurious way that’s sure to please any palate.
Overall, Johnnie Walker Blue Label is my top pick from these two world renowned whiskies because of its superior depth and complexity. It’s an exquisite drink that can elevate any occasion with its unique flavours, making this one whisky I always come back to time and time again!
If you enjoyed this article you may find our other article comparing the Black Label vs Double Black