Whisky review: Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18-year old, Blended Scotch Whisky
Next up in this series on the Johnnie Walker core range is the Platinum Label 18-year old blended Scotch whisky. The Platinum Label joined the lineup of Johnnie Walker whiskies in 2013, replacing the Gold Label Reserve as their 18-year old bottling. Presented in a very nicely designed, hard plastic, side-opening case – if you’re into such things with your whisky purchases – the bottle, which has beveled, tapered corners that lead to an octagonal bottom, represents a slight variation to the traditional square Johnnie Walker bottle. Thankfully, the Platinum Label manages to bring some substance along with its age statement to make for a very enjoyable blend.
Review: Johnnie Walker Platinum Label blended Scotch whisky
Nose: (N) An interesting start to this one. I immediately picked up this “just burnt” toast note that persists throughout, there are some very delicate hints of fruits: honeyed apples and cinnamon pears. Some soft spice notes of cardamom, cumin, and white pepper. Fresh-cut green peppers, a very soft smoke, spearmint, vanilla taffy, orange zest, a drop of lemon juice, and sandalwood incense. (W) Sadly, water really seems to diminish the nose, which was quite nice when neat, and emphasizes an oaky sharpness. Vanilla, more orange notes, the apples.
Taste: (N) Vanilla cream is front and center in the arrival. Fresh lemon juice, red apples, honey, mint, fresh bread, cinnamon, an interesting note of coffee bean, leather, a delicate smokiness – more barrel char than peat smoke. (W) More sweet vanilla, a touch of confectioners sugar, while it still retains its lemon juice, orange zest and red apple notes. The sugary sweetness is a tad too much for me – reminds me a bit of a few of the recent Glenmorangie Private Edition releases.
Finish: Honey and vanilla, apple peel, orange, and that very delicate hint of barrel-charred smoke, ending with a slightly bitter bite.
Overall: The Platinum Label does have a very nice nose, although the palate just doesn’t quite deliver the same richness of flavors that the nose indicates it might have. Still, this is a good whisky. I suspect the Platinum Label has a higher malt:grain ratio, but given the price point at $100, even in this price-crazy market, I think there are a number of whiskies I’d pay that much for before buying another bottle of the Platinum Label.
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: No Age Statement
Price: $100 (Total Wine)
Availability: Readily available
Sample Source: My own bottle