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Johnnie Walker Red

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Johnnie Walker Red

Postby zehcoutinho » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:59 am

Hi, I am not very knowledgeable in whiskies, but I always liked Johnnie Walker Red above all the 8 years I have tasted. Recently a friend of mine went to work in a restaurant where the barman told him that among connoisseurs it is considered a very bad whisky, for it's not properly aged and gets it's color solely by the addition of caramel. I am not going to stop drinking it because of what he said, as I really like it, but I just thought I'd ask in a specialized forum to know if that's true. Is it?

Thank you,

Zeh
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby pickleydoo » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:27 am

I do believe JW Red does use E150 caramel coloring (along with many other whiskies), but I don't know what the barman means by "not properly aged."

These points aside, I am a believer in drinking what makes you happy regardless of artificial coloring and chill-filtration.

Cheers,

Chris
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby Ken Zablocki » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:42 am

You should try Johnnie Walker Green Label if you canget it.
It's a Blended Malt 43% and well worth it

Allthe best
Ken
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:10 pm

zehcoutinho wrote:...the barman told him that among connoisseurs it is considered a very bad whisky, for it's not properly aged and gets its color solely by the addition of caramel...

"Not properly aged?"

That's a point that is entirely in the eyes of the beholder, as far as I'm concerned.

Yes, Red label is a blend comprised of relatively younger whiskies. As whiskies go, it's certainly priced right. It's also undoubtedly subject to a degree of added E150 (spirit caramel). And many may consider it to be 'a little rough around the edges'.

But so what?

There are some good, solid malts incorporated in the blend (such as Talisker). And one has no doubt one is drinking WHISKY when one drinks it!

If, however, you have the chance (you may have already), it would be worthwhile to sample drams of the entire JW lineup (Red, Black, Gold, Blue and, in addition, the all malt Green Label) so as to attain an appreciation of their different characters.
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby C57 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:53 pm

Hmm, seems my account has been deleted and all 5500+ posts with it, including the one in this thread
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:35 pm

Wow! :o

That hurts, Nick.

I certainly hope there's some way in which the board administrator(s) can resolve the problem satisfactorily... Too much valuable information under the bridge for it to be otherwise.
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby pickleydoo » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:53 pm

The Third Dram,

Which is your favorite, if you don't mind my asking?

Cheers,

Chris
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby The Third Dram » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:09 am

pickleydoo wrote:Which is your favorite, if you don't mind my asking?

A qualified answer is in order here, Chris, if you don't mind...

Price no object: JW Blue. It is, however, woefully overpriced, especially as one can procure many an excellent cask strength single malt for a similar outlay of money. That said, Blue does offer up a rather complex, rich and ultimately satisfying taste experience that lingers on the palate. The more esoteric George V and Anniversary editions (the latter quasi cask strength) are way out of my preferred price range.

Price somewhat of a consideration: JW Gold. Many might describe this 18-year old as the 'oddball' of the bunch, as its flavour profile is quite distinct from that of the others in the JW lineup. Think somewhat 'lighter' overall in flavour presentation as well as crisper and a little more coastal. Personally, I like it a lot. But many others find it just too lacking in, for lack of a better word, substance. A subtle yet ultimately engaging dram in my books, though. It goes down SO smoothly!

Price a definite consideration: JW Black. OK. It is a bit of a compromise in the greater scheme of things. A blend. Standard strength. Only a 12YO designation. Yes, even a bit of the E150 business going on here. But when you get right down to it, light years ahead of many of its competitors (such as Chivas Regal 12 Year Old). A fair hit of flavour intensity for the cost, all told.

Price a serious consideration: JW Red. Not for me. But that's just me. :wink:

JW Green: No grain whiskies here. A pretty solid core of good malts in the blend, too. I've often found myself reaching for this one in the past when momentarily unable to decide on any particular malt. Handy to have around, and the age is spot-on. The finish (despite 15+ years of age) is surprisingly refreshing (think mint leaves).

Cheers! Doug
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby pickleydoo » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:27 am

Thanks Doug!

I have never tried the Gold but have always wanted to. My go-to is the Green because it's usually on sale here. Every time I reach for the Gold at the store I always decide on something else.

Some day!

Cheers,

Chris
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby lockejn » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:02 pm

Don't forget Johnnie Walker Swing if you can find it. My personal favorite of the bunch. It probably has the most in common (flavor-wise) with the Green, but with a bit more spice and smoke. The bottle is a neat conversation piece, as well.
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby Ganga » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:44 pm

zehcoutinho wrote:gets it's color solely (emphasis added) by the addition of caramel.


I wanted to specifically address this comment. Others have stated that the Red uses e150 for coloring. I do believe this is true; however, I do believe at least part of the color is from the casks.

I really used to really detest JW products and this was because I became too focused on the young grain content. More recently, I have found that bottles that have been around tend to mellow out this aspect. I have also had the opportunity to try some older expressions of JW. 1960s JW Black is awesome. JW Red from the 1980s has a much larger Talisker component and malt ratio.

Don't let anyone tell you what you are supposed to like. That said, it is always worth a little exploring.
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby johan brugge » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:55 pm

I don't like the JW Red either, but if you like ... good for you! Try the Green. I like this one a lot better.
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby zehcoutinho » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:13 pm

Thanks for the answers guys. As I said, I will not stop drinking it just because someone bashed it.

I would like though, if possible, to get some recommendations on 8 years. I usually drink 8 years because they are cheaper.

Sometimes, when my budget allows, I like to drink some 12 years. My favorite so far is the Grand Old Parr, any comments? I also would like some recommendations on this age if anyone can offer.

Above that age it gets a little expensive for me.

As I said before I am not very knowledgeable. For example, I know that there is a difference between single malt and blended, but not what the difference is. The thing someone said about young grains, I have no idea. That's why I plan to stick around this forum to learn, as by my first experience it seems like the right place to do so.

Thanks again for the help.

Zeh

*Edit* Oh, and is there a Whisky 101 type of post here, or some website that I could research?
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby The Third Dram » Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:35 pm

zehcoutinho wrote:Oh, and is there a Whisky 101 type of post here, or some website that I could research?

Might want to try these for a start, Zeh... A pair of question & answer sessions that Linn Spencer and I 'co-hosted' (I did the final write-up) years ago...

http://www.cigarweekly.com/magazine/lifestyles/03-29-2004/whiskey-or-whisky-101---the-basics-of-a-great-drink-(part-1)

http://www.cigarweekly.com/magazine/lifestyles/04-14-2004/whiskey-or-whisky-101---the-basics-of-a-great-drink-(part-2)

Cheers, Doug
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby zehcoutinho » Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:16 pm

Thank you Doug, that was a very educational read. I will try to try (!?!) some of the whiskies you mentioned there. I will try to find a bar specialized in whiskies here in Barcelona (I'm almost sure I'll find it, this city has everything) to see if they have a "tasting menu" or something.

Zeh
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby rnicholls84 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:12 pm

I found a bottle of red from the 1970's last year. Totally different drink - more sophisticated, for me smother and full of flavour. Apart from the gold, the best Johnnie Walker I have tasted. I got a bottle of blue for a very good price in duty free but am waiting for the right occasion for that one ;-)
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby talisker10 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:32 pm

I think JW Red is OK for what it is. It is $25 a bottle, and most people will drink it in a mixed drink, maybe on the rocks. It is too sweet for me to drink neat. JW Black is nice neat or on the rocks. and fairly priced. I think the Gold and Blue are overpriced. Green Label is good, but for me priced at $60, I can get a lot of single malts at that price that are better.

There are many, many blends and single malts as well that use E150, so hardly unique to JW Red..
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby faria2159 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:56 am

Johnnie Walker - Just awesome
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Re: Johnnie Walker Red

Postby scotchirish » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:53 pm

I'm new to Scotch. Have tried several in a short time.
The Johnnie Walker Red has a flavor that I can't put my finger (tongue) on.
Can someone tell me . . . is it peat I'm tasting (not knowing what peat tastes like)? I certainly taste smoke (like some pipe tobacco I used to smoke).
The Talisker is supposed to be peaty I heard, and isn't it is a base whisky in the JW Red?
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