Well here we are once again having turned the clocks back for daylight savings time, and with daylight savings time comes the black of night. This year it also brings us Double Black Blended Scotch Whisky ($39.99) from Johnnie Walker. Actually it’s brought to us by the good folks at Diageo. Double Black was formerly only available in global duty-free shops, but has just been released to the broad market. So no need to book an international flight and fake an illness at the gate before boarding just so you can stop by the duty free store for a bottle …while remembering to get a refund on your ticket.
The classic Johnnie Walker Black ($25.89) has hints of smokiness due to the use of Whiskies from several distilleries located on the Island of Islay, including Caol Ila and Lagavulin. Double Black is Master Blender Jim Beveridge’s tweaking of Johnnie Black. He blends peatier malts and malts aged in heavily charred oak barrels – the result being a smokier, blacker Whisky than the original. In the words of the Johnnie Walker people: “Simply put, it is Black, amplified”.
Aromatically, Double Black offers aromas of peat smoke, oak and dried fruits. Take a pull and notice more of that smoke, stone fruit notes, vanilla, caramel, and spice. Very easy to drink with a lush mouth feel and a dry finish. It’s somewhat heavy-handed on the oak, with lots of char but that’s the idea: it is, after all, called Double Black.
Johnnie Walker Double Black is certainly not intended for those that are devotees of peaty Islay Whisky, but it should appeal to fans of Johnnie Walker (collect them all), and I think it serves as great intro to anyone who wants to try a Whisky with some peat smoke cloaked in sweeter toastier barrel. After your Double Black, try Caol Ila 12yr ($49.79) from Islay for your next step in our smoky, peaty program.
Cheapest International flight from the Bay Area: $444 to Mexico (Double Black not included)
Johnnie Walker Double Black at Beltramos: $39.99 (free parking included)
Rick C., Beltramo’s Spirits Staff