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JW Blue & Gold

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Postby Admiral » Sun Mar 07, 2004 5:39 am

They are both nice blends.

However, I do not think the quality of the JW Blue justifies its price tag. It's good, but it ain't that good!
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The Gold's the Go

Postby welshman » Wed Mar 17, 2004 2:28 pm

Last month a mate of mine picked up a duty-free four pack sampler from Mr Walker. It contained 200ml bottles of black, green pure malt, gold and blue. We set about it over a long weekend in Lisbon and for our money, the gold was by far the finest. Smooth as silk with a tiny little vanilla ice cream kick on the way down.
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Postby Admiral » Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:00 pm

If I remember correctly, the JW Gold has Royal Lochnager at the heart of the blend, rather than Cardhu (Cardow? :wink: ) which features in the Red & Black Labels.
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Postby Laphroaig » Tue Mar 30, 2004 12:51 pm

Blue Label is a nice blend. But I understand it to be something in the area of a todler when it comes to age. The feeling is if they told you the age of the sophisticated blend, no one would pay that kind of money no matter how well the blend came out.

I agree with Admiral.
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Postby bond » Wed Jul 07, 2004 9:06 am

Scrolled down for a different tasting note and stumbled upon this one.

Agree. JW Gold is by far the best of the walker blends.

It is Clynelish which is at the heart of the blend.

I have, however come across more die-hard J W Black Label loyalists than any other whisky. In India though, it is a rather dangerous whisky to have since, as the cliche goes, more of it is consumed in the city of Delhi alone, than is bottled in Scotland.
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Postby Lawrence » Fri Jul 09, 2004 3:40 pm

I understand that the heart of JW Red is Cardhu (or however they're spelling it this week), JW Black is Talisker, JW Gold is Clynelish and JW Blue is Royal Lochnager.

As an aside there's a rumor going around that JW Blue contains whiskies up to 60 years of age, as you know this is a no no as far as the Scotch Whisky Association is concerned unless the youngest whisky is 60 years old. Anyway apparently Diageo or UDV when this happened "let it slip" in some South American advertising that the blend contained whisky up to 60 years of age, this was enough for it to be repeated all around the world and many people accept it as fact. A neat trick that is still paying dividends today.
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Postby bond » Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:52 am

Am fairly certain it was not a slip.

The booklet accompanying the bottle still maintains that the blend does indeed contain whiskies upto 60 years of age.

But is it really paying dividends? Apart from the snob value as an expensive whisky, does Blue Label actually fly off the shelves?
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Postby Admiral » Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:55 pm

Hmm....there's some mixed info going on around here.

I have been to three or four Johnnie Walker promotion nights and spent a lot of time talking with their brand ambassadors. I don't claim to be infallible on this, but I'm reasonably confident that the following is correct:

Heart of JW Red - Cardhu
Heart of JW Black - Cardhu
Heart of JW Gold - Royal Lochnager

The "heart" of JW Blue and Green has never been pushed, promoted, or stated.

All of the promotion nights pushed Cardhu and it was made very clear that it was the heart of the Red and Black blends. If the heart of JW Black was Talisker, it would be a very, very different tasting whisky. You can certainly taste a bit of "zing" on the palate that is Talisker's contribution to the blend, but it's a top note only.

And yes, the story does go that JW Blue contains whisky that is in the order of 60 years old.

Now here's a trivia question.....who knows anything about Johnnie Walker "Swing"? :wink:

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Postby bond » Wed Jul 14, 2004 9:59 am

I agree about the Talisker probably not being the heart of J W Black. Have been throught running arguments on this across discussion forums. I suspect however that Lagavulin does team up rather prominently with Cardhu.

On J W Gold, the label mentions Clynelish as the heart of the malt and hence my observation. I have never managed to sample Clynelish and

"Swing" I thought was positioned between Black and Gold???
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Postby Admiral » Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:43 pm

Okay....I think I owe a few apologies.....

I checked out the Johnnie Walker website, and they do in fact state that the heart of JW Gold is Clynelish, and the heart of JW Blue is Royal Lochnager.

But the question is, which blend goes best with humble pie? :wink:

(Mind you, I got my facts from the Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassadors....a bit disappointing that they're giving out wrong information!)

Also, Lawrence, the website states that JW Black contains many whiskies "including Talisker", but it doesn't state the heart. I suspect this is probably still a hangover of Diageo removing Cardhu single malt, and therefore not wanting to reference it in their other marketing arms. I wonder if recent events will cause the JW website to be updated?

Keep on walking....
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Jul 14, 2004 6:17 pm

Admiral, at least you went and looked at the website, it never occurred to me! As to what whisky goes with humble pie I would say humble pie is a good excuse for ANY whisky :D

I have also spent a fair amount of time with the brand ambassadors and reps from various companies and all I can say is that sometimes they have less than complete information. However it is possible that the constituent malts of a blend change as the supplies of that particular distillery ebb and flow.

I searched the JW website and nothing found for Swing :shock: however all I know about is that it was that the bottle was designed to rock or swing on the old ocean liners, since the eye is naturally drawn to movemnet, customers would pick Swing out of the line up. As for me sometimes the room swings a bit after too many drams but rarely :roll:
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:07 pm

For what it's worth, Jim Murray's "Classic Blended Scotch" first published in 1999 says that JW Red has Caol Ila, Talisker, Glendullan and Port Dundas (grain) with no mention of Cardhu. JW Black has Aberfeldy, Glenlossie, Talisker, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Craigellachie among the 35 malts and 5 grains make up the blend. JW Gold has Clynelish, Royal Lochnager, Talisker and grain from Cambus. JW Blue has Caol Ila, Royal Lochnager, Mortlach and a dash of Auchtertool, a long lost lowlander closed in 1923. There is no mention of what makes up JW Premier or Swing. He says Premier is on par with Blue but not as well integrated and that Swing is one hell of a dram.
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JW blue, black, gold and green

Postby bamber » Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:57 pm

Just returned form holday in Italy. Whilst there I subjected my family to a blind tasting of blue, gold, black and green label (from the aforementioned 4 x 200 ml pack).

They are not massive whisky fans but they do like a drop.

Three picked black label as their favourite and one green !

I have to say there was not much in it for me, either. I convinced myself I preferred the blue but I'd seen the labels.

All very nice - good fun for a week away.
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johhnie walker

Postby richard » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:12 pm

i have only drunk red and black label from my tastings red labe l the taliker comes through right on the end the blacl label is obviously dominated by the islays that go into it i love blacl label and i am not a big fan islay malts so i dont why i like i hope to try some other johhnie walker some time keep up the comments all the best richard
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Re: johhnie walker

Postby bamber » Fri Sep 10, 2004 10:30 am

richard wrote:i have only drunk red and black label from my tastings red labe l the taliker comes through right on the end the blacl label is obviously dominated by the islays that go into it i love blacl label and i am not a big fan islay malts so i dont why i like i hope to try some other johhnie walker some time keep up the comments all the best richard


I know what u mean about the Talisker taste on the red label - a lot of people bash it but I think its a pretty good blend.

To be honest, as you've had the JW black label I would not worry too much about having not tried the others. They are nice but certainly would not make my 'essential list'.
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Postby bond » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:27 pm

At the price at which they sell the mediocre J W Blue, some of us should get together and try and enforce a penalty on UDV for Unfair Trade Practices.

Well I agree its a free world , consumers make their own choices, Caveat Emptor etc but this is probably the one product which made me feel outraged when I first purchased (and consumed) a bottle.

Certainly never again...
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JW Blue - rip off

Postby bamber » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:27 pm

Ur right, it is crazy price (JW blue).

When I first started drinking malts I was so impressed by Macallan, I very nearly bought the blue label 30YO. I'm sure I would have been similarly outraged - and probably would have gone looking for MJ ! (just kidding).
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JW Blue and Gold

Postby Frodo » Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:57 pm

I've tried both and by reaction to both is similar: Both are good whiskys but they are not worth the asking price. The Blue in paticular impressed me a lot, but is it worth 3 bottles of Ardbeg or Talisker? I respectfully submit that it is not. I'll crack open my 200 ml bottle of blue and give a more definitive answer soon. :wink:

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JW "Swing"

Postby KenBeau » Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:21 am

FWIW, I asked the US West Coast rep last December, 2003 about "Swing", and he told me that it was comparable to Haigs/Dimple Pinch blend.

I can't say from personal experience if this is true, never having had either..

Cheers,
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Postby bond » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:55 pm

Though I have never had Swing, sounds very unlikely.

While Dimple and Haig are easy drinking blends, they have a pronounced sweetness on the finish, impossible to associate with JW. Do not think JW would give up its fundamental house style, even on a variant.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:58 pm

bond wrote:At the price at which they sell the mediocre J W Blue, some of us should get together and try and enforce a penalty on UDV for Unfair Trade Practices.

Well I agree its a free world , consumers make their own choices, Caveat Emptor etc but this is probably the one product which made me feel outraged when I first purchased (and consumed) a bottle.

Certainly never again...


If you can afford the price of JW Blue then there isn't a lot wrong. 8)

I tasted red, black, blue, gold and green back to back at Cardhu and the Gold was the best whisky if money is no object.

Each blend had something to recommend it and they are all quite different from each other in character. ( Green label is a vatted malt.)

JW Blue was quite smoky and heavier than the Gold. The Gold was beautiful and was like a combination of the best honey and the finest golden syrup. I recommend it to all those who can afford it.
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Postby Frodo » Sun Oct 10, 2004 10:49 pm

The JW Gold does have a certain personality that may render it unattractive to peat monster lovers. It does have a big body, and like you say honeyed and smooth. But my issue with it (I've only had it a couple of times) is that it didn't challange my tastebuds. It's the sort of thing I'd get for company if I could afford it. But at it's price point, I'd rather get 10yr Ardbeg, 18yr Jameson, 10yr Glenkinchie, 12yr Craggenmore, or 15yr Bowmore.

BTW, my impression of Highland Park 12yr a while back was that it also had a "honeyed" character. Was it that bottle, or my tastebuds that was faulty?

Regards
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:01 pm

Frodo wrote:
BTW, my impression of Highland Park 12yr a while back was that it also had a "honeyed" character. Was it that bottle, or my tastebuds that was faulty?

Regards
Frodo


Why don't you have some more and see if you get the same taste again? 8)
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Postby Frodo » Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:40 pm

So many to try, so little time...
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Postby Admiral » Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:54 am

Nothing faulty about your tastebuds, Frodo. Highland Park 12 is a particularly honeyed dram!

Cheers,
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