Red Label vs Black Label

Red Label Vs Black Label: Which of the Two Scotch Whiskies Is Best?

Undoubtedly, Johnnie Walker is the world’s best-selling brand of Scotch whiskies. From affordable prices to decades of experience in the liquor industry, there are many reasons why its products are widely consumed in many countries.

The brand’s popular standard blends include Johnnie Walker Red Label and Johnnie Walker Black label. However, whether you are a whisky connoisseur or trying Scotch whisky for the first time, you may have to wonder which is the best option between these two.

As a whisky enthusiast, I have been curious to learn the difference between Red Label vs Black Label Johnnie Walker whiskeys. After tasting both of these popular blends, I can confidently say that there are distinct differences between them. In this review, I will compare Red Label vs Black Label in terms of taste, aroma and finish to help you determine which one is best suited for your palate.

In this comprehensive Johnnie Walker Red Label Vs Black Label comparison, we’ll see how these blended Scotch whiskies compare to help you make the best decision. Read on!

Comparing Red Label vs Black Label: Quick Look

Johnnie Walker Red Label
Johnnie Walker Red Label

Nose/aroma: An unexpectedly robust, fragrant aroma of heather honey, blended peels, gentle smoke and rum spice.

Palate: Rich aromas of cedar wood, oak and butterscotch mingle with sweet notes of aniseed, Christmas cake and malt; a tantalizing blend that will delight your senses.

Mouthfeel: Possessing a medium body, this beverage is neither overly coating nor drying on the palate.

Finish: An aroma of spices lingers on the nose, complemented by a delicate smokiness that tickles your senses as it disappears.

Age: A mix of whiskies at least 3 years old

Cask/Barrels: mix of bourbon and sherry cask

Strength: 80 proof / ABV 40%

Price: £25 / £30

Johnnie Walker Black label
Johnnie Walker Black label

Nose/aroma: Enjoy the incredibly smooth and flavourful smokiness coupled with the robust spiciness that this full-bodied blend offers.

Palate: This exquisite drink is a perfect balance between sweet and refreshing, with an array of tantalising fruit flavours such as sultanas and mixed peels.

Mouthfeel: The tantalising combination of oiliness and warmth that lingers on your tongue.

Finish: A delightful blend of warm spices and treacle, heightened by a hint of white pepper and citrus for an invigorating contrast.

Age: Black label is a blend of over 40 whiskies, but the youngest is a 12 year

Barrels: Oak Casks

Strength: 80 proof / ABV 40%

Price: £26 / $32

Red Label vs Black Label: Red Label Review

Special Old Highland Whisky Bottle

Originally named ‘Special Old Highland Whisky’, in 1909, was renamed Johnnie Walker Red Label and a legend was born.

Johnnie Walker Red Label is a classic blended Scotch whisky that was created with cocktails in mind. Consisting of over 35 different malt and grain whiskies, Red Label features a unique balance of flavours, aromas and textures that make it the perfect base for delicious cocktails. Red Label boasts a robust aroma of heather honey, blended peels and gentle smoke, followed by a palate full of sweet notes of aniseed, Christmas cake and malt.

The whisky has a medium body not overly coating and quite a drying finish. Red Label was created with the perfect balance of sweetness and spice in mind to make it an ideal mixer for your favourite drinks or cocktails!

Johnnie Walker Red Label has a wonderfully fragrant nose, with the sweet and gentle aromas of heather honey, blended peels, smoke and rum spice all blending together in perfect harmony.

Johnnie Walker Red Label on Table

Aged for at least three years to produce its unique flavor, grain whiskies are distinguished by fragrances of freshly-cut wood, oak, butterscotch and aniseed mingling with essences of Christmas cake and malt.

The Red Label has a medium-bodied profile, neither too overpowering nor cloyingly dry. Its velvety texture is invigorated by the contrast of white pepper and citrusy notes against the sweeter ones, creating an alluring flavor experience for your palate.

The Red Label’s finish is remarkable. Notes of sweet cinnamon and cardamom fill the senses, providing a captivating and enduring aroma that exudes warmth. To round off this delightful experience, hints of smokiness are present to add an extra layer of complexity – making it truly unique amongst its peers.

Enjoy the delightful smokiness that tantalises your taste buds, before it fades into the background. Red Label’s finish is smooth and unique, with a hint of citrus to bring an extra layer of flavor. Its robust notes and character-filled drink will leave you wanting more! It truly is an unforgettable experience for every whisky enthusiast out there.

Treat yourself to a remarkable whisky experience without breaking the bank; Johnnie Walker Red Label is an affordable yet enjoyable Scotch that you’ll love! With its array of delightful aromas and flavours, this robust blended whisky will tantalise your taste buds while still being gentle on your wallet. Don’t miss out – pick up a bottle today!

Red Label vs Black Label: Black Label Review

Johnnie Walker Black Label Whisky Bottle

Johnnie Walker Black Label is a truly exceptional whisky, crafted from an intriguing combination of 40 distinct whiskies. The youngest has been aged for 12 years and offers up a captivating nose full of smokey undertones mixed with sweet heather honey, zesty citrus peels and subtle hints of white pepper. Its robust yet mellow aroma will entice your taste buds unlike anything else!

Johnnie Walker Black Label is a captivating combination of smooth sweetness and zesty freshness, offering an alluring array of delectable fruity flavours. Featuring bold smoky notes with hints of sultanas, mixed peels, honey and spices that come together in perfect harmony for a truly remarkable whisky experience. Each sip ends with a long lingering finish that’s both velvety-smooth but also incredibly intricate – the unmistakable mark of one extraordinary blended scotch whiskies from the ever-renowned Johnnie Walker brand.

The Black Label expression has been carefully crafted by blending together a selection of whiskies that have aged in oak casks for at least 12 years, giving the whisky its deep golden colour and complex flavour profile. Inhale its bold aroma with notes of citrus fruits, caramelised sugar, spice, heather, peat smoke and dark chocolate – all coming together to create an unforgettable blended experience. As you take a sip, the whisky offers many layers of complexity with an exquisite balance between sweetness and savouriness. Sweet flavours stay on your taste buds while the smoky finish leaves behind a pleasant refreshment.

Johnnie Walker Black Label is truly a whisky for all occasions – whether celebrating with family or enjoying on its own – it has something for everyone. It’s an excellent choice for whisky connoisseurs who appreciate the depth of flavour that comes from carefully selected single malt whiskies from Scotland’s finest distilleries being blended together with skilful artistry by master blenders.

Johnnie Walker Black Label is an excellent Scotch whisky that offers great value for money. With its rich, smoky flavour and complex character, this Scotch whisky is definitely worth the price of £26/$32.

Johnnie Walker Black Label also stands out for its deep golden hue, obtained from whisky aging in oak barrels that have previously held other spirits such as whiskey or sherry. This adds further layers of character to the whisky’s flavour profile, giving it unparalleled richness. Furthermore, this Scotch can be enjoyed neat or mixed in a variety of cocktails – making it a truly versatile spirit that will suit any occasion.

All things considered, Johnnie Walker Black Label is an undeniably good value for money; offering a unique taste experience at a very reasonable cost. With its bold yet refined flavours and well-balanced finish, one sip is enough to understand why this whisky has remained popular since its creation in 1909 – making it an absolute classic amongst Scotch connoisseurs worldwide!

Red Label vs Black Label: Food Pairings

Johnnie Walker Red Label Food pairing

Johnnie Walker Red Label is a blended Scotch whisky that is full-bodied, robust and complex. It has an unmistakable smoky flavour combined with subtle notes of sweet caramel, citrus fruits and spice. Red Label’s bold yet refreshing character pairs fantastically well with sweet desserts, creating a delectable flavour combination that will appeal to all whisky lovers.

For those looking for something truly special when pairing Red Label with dessert, dark chocolate truffles are the perfect accompaniment. Red Label’s smokiness complements the richness of the chocolate while its sweetness enhances the flavour of the filling. The whisky’s unique flavour profile also makes it an excellent pairing for toffee apples or sticky date puddings – allowing each individual ingredient to shine through while giving you a truly unforgettable taste experience!

Whisky and food pairings

Johnnie Walker Red Label is a blended Scotch whisky that boasts an abundance of spiced notes, making it the perfect accompaniment to traditional Christmas pudding. Red Label’s complex flavour profile is full of sweet and smoky notes such as honey, wood smoke, mixed peels and spices; all of which work in harmony to create a truly enjoyable. And could even be a replacement for the traditional Brandy used to soak the fruit?

Johnnie Walker Red Label can also be enjoyed with more classic desserts such as crème brûlée, its unique smoky-sweet flavours blend perfectly with the creamy custard. Apple crumble, with its cinnamon and nutmeg spices layered over warm-cooked fruit, is one dessert that would be improved by the unique flavours of this whisky.

Red Label’s smokiness adds a dynamic flavour to traditional recipes without dominating them, making it the perfect choice for any sophisticated dinner party or festive event.

When paired with decadent desserts, Johnnie Walker Red Label truly shines. Its distinct complexity boosts each recipe’s flavour without overpowering the main components. Every bite will be packed full of bold yet refreshing taste!

Johnnie Walker Black Label Food Pairing

From sweet to the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to ending a meal – savoury. Johnnie Walker Black Label is a great choice for anyone looking to pair it with a cheese board. Its deep, smoky flavour combined with subtle notes of sweet caramel, citrus fruits and spice make it an ideal accompaniment to any type of cheese. The whisky’s unique flavour profile complements the creamy texture and slightly nutty undertones found in many cheeses – creating a perfect balance of taste and texture.

For a truly exquisite experience, try pairing Johnnie Walker Black Label with an array of hard and soft cheeses. Aged cheddar makes for a delicious addition to this pairing as its sharpness and tanginess are enhanced by the whisky’s sweetness. Brie is also an excellent option that will bring out the whisky’s subtle fruit-forward notes while Red Leicester adds a nutty flavour to the mix.

When it comes to choosing accompaniments for your cheese board, Johnnie Walker Black Label can be enjoyed with a variety of items such as crackers, nuts, jams or dried fruits – all of which will add depth and complexity to your tastebuds!

Overall, Johnnie Walker Black Label is an ideal partner for any cheese selection thanks to its full-bodied character and bold yet balanced flavours. Whether you’re hosting an intimate gathering or planning a special event, enjoy every sip with your favourite cheese board – you won’t regret it!


Johnnie Walker Red Label Cocktails

When crafting cocktails with Red Label, the possibilities are endless – from timeless classics such as the Old Fashioned or Manhattan to more creative endeavours.

Red Label’s versatility not only allows it to be combined with a vast array of liquors, such as vermouths and liqueurs but also brings about delectable flavour combinations that further its complex character.

For a unique twist, pair Red Label’s famous smokiness with aromatic herbs like rosemary or thyme. Or add some extra zest to your dish with citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons for an added layer of complexity. Let Red Label take your culinary creations to the next level! Red Label makes for an excellent addition to any home bar due to its affordability and range of uses – from Scotch-based classics to modern twists on old favourites.

It’s Johnnie Walker’s flagship whisky for cocktails and the recipe options are endless but we’ve picked out a few that we think are definitely ones to try!

The Johnny Walker Red Mojito is the perfect refreshing drink for summer, a delicious combination of Red Label whisky, fresh mint and citrus flavours. This classic yet contemporary cocktail has been delighting taste buds around the world since its creation. The Red Label adds a robust smokiness to this traditional mojito recipe that creates an entirely new flavour profile.


  • Clap 8 mint leaves and place at the bottom of a tall glass
  • Add 10ml sugar syrup and muddle gently
  • Fill the glass 3/4 full with crushed ice
  • Add 25 ml Johnnie Walker Red Label
  • Add 75 ml soda water
  • Stir and garnish with mint string

Johnnie Walker Red Label is the perfect whisky for a Rusty Nail cocktail because of its robust smokiness and sweet notes that blend perfectly with the other ingredients.

Red Label has an abundance of spices, honeyed tones, wood smoke and peels which are balanced by its smooth taste.

The Red Label’s smokiness provides a depth of character to the cocktail that other whiskies cannot replicate; its unique sweetness allows for an enhanced balance between the Scotch and Drambuie, the other key component in making this classic drink. Red Label also lends itself well to adding additional garnishes such as lemon twists or orange slices which can further enhance the flavour experience.


Fill a mixing glass with ice.


Add 45ml Johnnie Walker and 15ml Drambuie. Stir to mix.


Pour into a tumbler over one large ice cube, several small ones or an ice ball.


Finish with a brandied cherry or orange peel garnish.

In tribute to the legendary Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet, behold The Bobby Burns cocktail. Sweet vermouth and herbal Benedictine are artfully combined with Johnnie Walker for an invigorating blend that is perfect for any occasion—but especially fitting on a Burn Night celebration!


Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add 60ml Johnnie Walker, 22ml Sweet Vermouth, 15ml Benedictine and 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters.


Blend it all together.


Strain into a cocktail glass and serve neat


Finish with a lemon peel garnish.

Johnnie Walker Black Label Cocktails

To some it may seem sacrilege to mix Black Label into a cocktail but we think if you use the best ingredients you’ll take your cocktail game to the next level.

A favourite of whisky cocktail of mine has to be the classic whisky sour.

Johnnie Walker Black Label is an excellent whisky to use in a whisky sour cocktail due to its deep, complex flavours.

This classic blend of whisky has been crafted with carefully selected malt and grain whiskies aged for 12 years or more to create a sophisticated flavour profile with intense smoky notes and sweet, earthy undertones.

The combination of these intense flavours with the strongly acidic and sweet elements of the whisky sour makes for an incredible tasting cocktail experience. The mellow smokiness from the Black Label whisky forms the perfect base to balance out the tartness of the lemon juice, while its underlying sweetness enhances the flavour of the sugar syrup.

Black Label’s complexity lends itself perfectly to this classic cocktail; its smoothness on the palate and lingering finish make it an ideal accompaniment. Furthermore, its bold character ensures that it stands up in drinks like a Whisky Sour without being overpowered by other ingredients.

Overall, Johnnie Walker Black Label is a great choice when making a Whisky Sour; it adds remarkable depth of flavour to this timeless drink whilst maintaining balance between all components. If you’re looking for a complex and sophisticated take on this classic recipe, then look no further than Johnnie Walker Black Label!


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add 60ml Johnnie Walker, 22ml Lemon Juice, 22ml 1:1 Simple Syrup, 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters and an egg white for a foamy head.


Shake hard for 7-10 seconds, or double if you’re using egg white.


If you’re using egg white, strain everything into a glass, remove the ice and shake again.


Strain and serve neat or over ice. Finish with a lemon peel garnish.

Final Thoughts: Red Label vs Black Label

When it comes to choosing between Johnnie Walker Red Label vs Black Label whiskies, the answer lies in your personal preference. Each whisky offers a unique flavor profile that caters to different tastes; both are truly remarkable spirits worthy of sampling yourself!

Red Label’s delightful taste makes it a great choice for adding extra garnishes, as well as its use in timeless cocktails like the Whisky Bobby Burns or an exquisite Rusty Nail crafted with Red Label.

Red Label’s velvety texture and extended aftertaste make it the perfect spirit for neat or on-the-rocks drinking. On the other hand, Johnnie Walker Black Label offers drinkers an intense smoky flavour profile and an earthy undertone. It’s complexity lends itself perfectly to whisky sours, as its bold character provides a balance between strong acidity and sweetness from the lemon juice and simple syrup.

Furthermore, its smoothness on the palate and lingering finish make it an ideal accompaniment for this classic cocktail.

Johnnie Walker Red Label vs Black Label price:

It has to be said both are very reasonably priced for the quality of liquid inside the bottle. If you are able to spring the extra for the Black label I’d do so.

In conclusion, when it comes to Red Label vs Black Label both offer unique flavour experiences that will appeal to different palates. Black label is best experienced neat or over ice with additional garnishes while Red Label shines in complex cocktails such as the Whisky Sour. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference when deciding which Johnnie Walker whisky is better!

Authors Pick:

Its deep, complex flavour profile is created by carefully selected malts and grains aged for a minimum of 12 years, resulting in intense smoky notes and sweet, earthy undertones. This sophisticated blend of Scotch creates a unique drinking experience that I find incredibly enjoyable.

At its price point, it is good value for money and definitely doesn’t break the bank so you can pop it in your favourite cocktail without feeling it’s sacrilege or an indulgent splurge.

The smoothness of Black Label makes it perfect for enjoying neat or on the rocks with a simple garnish such as a lemon peel. It also stands up incredibly well in cocktails like Whisky sour due to its bold flavour profile. The strong smokiness from the whisky provides a balance between the tartness of the lemon juice and sweetness of the simple syrup while its underlying sweetness enhances all elements of the cocktail.

What truly sets Black Label apart from Red Label is its richness and depth of flavour. Red Label has a sweeter taste that is best enjoyed with additional garnishes and when used in classic cocktails such as Red Label’s signature Rusty Nail or Bobby Burns Whisky Sour.

Red Label also has a smooth palate but lacks the intensity and complexity that Black Label offers in terms of flavour characteristics. Undeniably, Black Label Johnnie Walker whisky is my favourite due to its impeccable flavour and perfect harmony of elements.

If you enjoyed this comparison of red label vs black label you may also enjoy our article Johnnie Walker Black vs Double Black

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