There are few things more exciting than when an alcohol brand listens to its customers and actually keeps limited edition varieties that develop a loyal following. Johnnie Walker has done just that and recently announced that they have made their Double Black whisky a permanent part of their family.
Double Black first hit liquor store shelves in 2010, but was only available in select duty-free stores. It did so well, that they then offered a limited release variety in the U.S. Now, it’s earned it’s place with the rest of Johnnie Walker’s outstanding labels and is available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $40 per bottle.
Double Black is a smokier, more intense version of Johnnie Walker’s Black Label. Black Label is aged for 12 years but Double Black doesn’t guarantee any certain age. There was an increased demand for stronger, heavier flavors that are often found in Scotland and Master Blender Jim Beveridge went there to check out what was up with their whisky. He hand-selected a number of whiskies defined by hints of smoldering charcoal, crisp ash and burnt timber and then barreled Johnnie Walker’s own blend to mature in deep-charred old oak casks.
In an interview with The New York Daily News, Johnnie Walker’s brand ambassador Stephen Wilson said that “creamy, vanilla notes are still present, but the Double Black offers a bolder option to lovers of the company’s time-tested originals.” Johnnie Walker’s labels – all named for different colors (Red, Black, Green, Gold, Blue) – increase in age and prestige and are usually more about improving the smoothness rather than the smokiness. We love that Double Black brings the smoky flavor to the table and we think it’s a great way for the brand to round out their offerings.
Johnnie Walker acknowledges that the best way to enjoy the scotch is simply how you prefer to drink it, but they do suggest trying Double Black on the rocks to get the most appreciation for the flavor. The general consensus from fans is that Double Black is different (in a good way) and a great value for the money. They feel that it has characteristics of a more expensive scotch, all the way from the nose to the finish. We’ll drink to that.