An interesting twist on Johnnie Walker Black Label, Double Black was rolled out for general release in 2011 after a successful launch in travel retail. Double Black adds to the normal Black Label profile by including more Islay whisky and casks that have been heavily charred, giving a more intense flavour with a greater emphasis on smoke while keeping true to the sophisticated Johnnie Walker style.
Palate: The flavour is full bodied and complex with the signature Johnnie Walker peat smoke shining brightly through rich raisins and sultanas. Apples, pears and orange zest bring freshness while creamy vanilla and spice bring a softness and sweetness to the tongue.
Finish: The long warming finish combines spicy oak tannins and lingering smoke.
Tasting Notes by Simon Difford (Diffordsguide.com)
Appearance: Deep amber with bright gold flecks.
Aroma: Flinty, orange blossom honey with a slight whiff of struck match and linseed oil.
Taste: Starts sweet and quickly turns dry. At the beginning it’s honeyed with a touch of smoky bacon then dries with tar, hint of bonfire and charcoal, moving to honeycomb.
Aftertaste: Smoky notes waft around the finish which has a touch of dried apple sprinkled with black pepper.
Customer Reviews: (19 reviews)
I was a bit disappointed by this, it is nowhere near as smoky as many Islay malts and lacks the juiciness and cleanness that young whiskies should have. The taste is certainly rich and spicy enough but after a couple of minutes it becomes over-dry, flat and slightly bitter, probably the effect of all the burnt new wood.
For the same money you could get more enjoyment from Ardmore or Caol Ila or Jura or Benriach...
- stringph, 13th September
Double Black is an outstanding, moderately priced whiskey. It has become the favorite drink of my circle of friends.
- anonymous, 3rd September
i have been drinking black label for as long as i can remember so i purchased a bottle of double black to try it is slightly more peatier than bl but very enjoyable all the same i would buy again
- ecky, 15th July
It's a little bit smokier than the standard Black Label. Other than that, I'm not sure it's a significant improvement over the latter - which is already great.
- anonymous, 11th July
- anonymous, 12th May
Given the emphasis on Islay malts and smoke compared to the standard Black Label it's just as I expected it to be. Although there is no age statement and the malts are blended with grain, with the timing of this being introduced and the Green Label being discontinued, I figure it's a replacement and no doubt cheaper to produce. I must say I still enjoyed it though, it's a good quality and flavoursome blend.
- The Colonel, 28th April
Rather unremarkable on the nose and an overwhelming taste of dark chocolate on the palate. Long satisfying finish. Certainly very drinkable and the smokiness gives it some character that other blends lack. Decent for what it is but about a tenth as good as a Talisker 10.
- anonymous, 12th March
Double Black is a great whisky. When I first opened the bottle the smoky notes were so prominent that they completely overshadowed others flavours. A few months later, the whisky oxidised a bit and only then the other flavours made their presence noticable. Diageo did really good job with this one, they pumped up the smoke but increased the sweetness too making it truely Double Black while compared to their older brother JW Black. I am converted!
- John Chimbosky, 21st February
- anonymous, 9th Oct '12
At the Whisky Show, in The Diageo corner, I made sure I started with The 3 Walkers before moving on to the special releases - The Lagavulin 12 etc. The JW Platinum, Gold and this...all excellent. But the way the Caol Ila and ( I Presume) Talisker float gently onto the palate on this one is masterful - my fave of the three. Jason;s review sounds more like the CI 25 I later tried! the DB wasn;t so dramatic for me! It's The subtelty of The smoke I Love...
- anonymous, 9th Oct '12
Johnnie walker double black blended scotch whisky is the drink of this century.zau lai,Myanmar.
- anonymous, 5th Oct '12
I always go for single malt. I have for the last 30 years. I tasted Double Black tonight and was so impressed that I found this site to see if anyone else agrees. Apparantly I'm not alone on this. Always great to find another malt that's so smooth.
- anonymous, 27th Sep '12
- James St-John Smythe, 8th Sep '12
it's like drinking a smoky hot fire, my favourite whisky
- lulu, 4th Aug '12
this is currently my favourite whisky to drink, absolutely superb with a sweet aftertaste
- anonymous, 4th Jun '12
"Nose": Sophisticated, subtle. Sweet. Seaweed, iodine and fishing nets drying in the afternoon sun. Pinewood fires. "Palate": Smooth Lapsang souchong tea, sweet Ceylon black teas, pine needles and a smoking camp-fire at dusk. "Finish": Islay finish of wood smoke, Atlantic ocean salt, gingery green seaweed, and a subtle sherry warmth spreading across the chest. A feeling of heat and safety envelopes you. Great length of flavors on the finish.
- Jason's Scotch Whisky Reviews, 22nd May '12
Outstanding, had some last night, usually for a blend I shall go for Black Bottle, and that is great for its price, but this add's another layer of sophistication. You can really taste the Coal Ila in this.
- anonymous, 16th Apr '12
The original Black Label is so good that this doesn't really achieve anything. It's perfectly drinkable and enjoyable, but somehow feels a bit pointless when you're so familiar with the original.
- Hugo, 7th Jan '12
I have been enjoying Scotch Whisky for many years, and normally stick to Single Malt. But on my 76th birthday my Son bought me a bottle of Johnie Walker double black label. Yes! the smokey flavour is there, along with a subtle taste of Scotland; Sip it to enjoy -not gulp!
- James Stirling, 17th Nov '11
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