Whisky is perhaps the greatest indicator that somebody up there actually likes us. It’s also the champion of alcohols, boasting the kind of complexity and flavour that renders no two sips completely the same. In honour of this feel-good nectar sent straight from heaven, we ask you to join us in celebrating World Whisky Day on the 21st. Whether neat or on ice, swimming in peat or touched with sweetness, blended or single malted, there really is no way to celebrate improperly!
To help ensure that we here at Man of Many have the greatest of all possible World Whisky Days, the amazing folks over at Johnnie Walker sent over four of their signature expressions. Like children who broke into their parents’ closet a few days before Christmas, we simply couldn’t wait so we cracked open each bottle to have a taste. Here were the results:
Johnnie Walker Green Label
Recovered from the brink of extinction, Johnnie Walker Green Label is the kind of whisky that will make you a convert if you aren’t one already. Aged 15 years, this exceptionally rich blend has a nose of chocolate and coffee with ample hints of smoke and wood. After one sip a wave of smiles formed between us, the whisky indulging our palates with creamy flavours of oak, espresso and walnut. The finish is lightly sweet with spicy overtones that linger on the senses like a wonderful dream. Johnnie Walker Green Label goes best neat or on ice, though we shouldn’t have to tell you that since making cocktails with 15-year old scotch is basically a crime.
Talisker Skye Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Talisker is commonly equated with a complex profile that’s both sweet and smoky, and while the nose on the Skye expression is somewhat dominated by fruit, the taste is simply rife with a familiar blend of pepper, peat and sugar. There are also strong hints of toffee, marzipan, and brine, giving Talisker Skye a maritime essence. You can take a sip, close your eyes and hear waves crashing ashore while you swish the intensely smooth whisky around in your mouth. The finish is light but wonderful and the smoke hangs on until you breathe it out in a gasp of delight.
Johnnie Walker Black Label
More than any other product, Johnnie Walker Black Label put the company on the map as the premier purveyor of quality whisky blends. That’s no mistake. Aged 12 years, Johnnie Walker Black Label is intensely satisfying and crowd-pleasing, perfect for whisky snobs and casual enthusiasts alike. This expression starts with a powerful nose of spice and fruit, courtesy of being aged in oak sherry casks. One sip and your taste buds are swimming in a creamy sea of herbs, honey, spice and toffee with delicate touches of smoke. As the brilliant whisky slides down your throat, your palate clings to a sensational finish of citrus and peat. Even after all these years, Johnnie Walker Black still brings it with each bottle!
The Singleton Spey Cascade
The Singleton Spey Cascade’s unique color and flavour comes as a result of being aged in bourbon and Sherry casks. The nose is clean with an abundance of fruit that doesn’t overwhelm. The taste is also primarily fruit forward with hints of grain–we detected apple, berries, traces of barley and a moderate sweetness. There is a balanced, mild quality to the Spey Cascade and for this expression we recommend adding a drop or two of water to really bring those deeper notes to surface. The finish is smooth and again mild, leaving traces of fruit and sugar on the palate. While pleasant, the Spey Cascade was the lightest of the four whiskys we tried, lacking the layers of complexity exhibited by something like Johnnie Walker Green Label. But don’t think for a moment we’re complaining–this is still an excellent dram.
Whisky has really gained in popularity over the last decade and we couldn’t be happier about it. After all, with new expressions come new flavours, new experiences and new rewards. If you consider yourself even a casual fan of the brown stuff, be sure to celebrate #WorldWhiskyDay so the industry knows it’s still moving in the right direction.