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Johnnie Walker Double Black Scotch Review: The delicate smokiness

Double Black

It's truly noteworthy when such a total classic brand gives us a chance to do a Johnnie Walker Double Black review as it introduces a new product that's a fresh interpretation of one of their most well-known brands.

The product initially debuted at duty-free shops in European and Asian airports. It quickly became a hit, forcing the company to issue an official release for the US market.

The sweet and smokey whisky is greatly enhanced by rich tastes of different ingredients from apple, tasty honey, cinnamon, to clove. Without any further ado, let’s kick off this article with some fast facts about this delicately fine whiskey.


Blended Scotch Whisky




Various, Scotland

Cask Type

Ex-Bourbon and Sherry Cask

Still Type







No age statement




Category Winner, World Whiskies Awards, 2020 (Blended category); Gold, Scotch Whisky Masters, 2018 (Blended—No Age Statement category); Gold, World Whiskies Awards, 2018

Next, let's look at some of the whiskey's benefits and drawbacks to have a better understanding of what this wonderful alcoholic beverage has to offer.


  • This big, smoky, and wonderfully blended whiskey is for those who grew up drinking single malts.
  • A flexible mix that's great for sipping and adding a unique twist to scotch-based drinks.


  • may be excessively harsh for blended whisky fans, whereas malt whisky enthusiasts may not feel satisfied as the taste can be not as strong as wanted.

Tasting Notes

Double Black whisky

Now that we have a brief rundown of some rapid-fire facts and some great and not-so-great moments from this whiskey, have a closer look at some detailed notes to see what more a Johnnie Walker Double Black label can bring to the table.

  • Color

It's impossible not to draw parallels between this one and the spirit it is based on: Johnnie Walker Black Label.

The first and most noticeable difference between the two is that the Double one doesn't have an age declaration on the bottle. In contrast, the counterpart has its 12-year-old age statement printed on the container.

This follows a recent trend of distilleries removing age statements from new products, such as the Quarter Cask from Laphroaig and the Alligator from Ardbeg.

The appearance is also distinct: Black Label is packaged in a transparent container, whilst the other is packaged in a smoked glass bottle that is somewhat taller.

  • Nose

There are several distinctions between those two whiskies.

The Black Label has a much sweeter nose due to the Cardhu while in its counterpart, the smoky and peaty flavor of Caol Ila is likely to dominate the nose. The nose is well-balanced and displayed on both sides.

The smokiness in the latter whisky isn't overpowering, and there's still a lovely sweet cherry bed behind it, with a hint of a flowery note.

  • Palate

Double Black has a greater smokiness than the other, and it's tempered with sweet apple and pear soaked in honey. The smoke lingers the longest on the tongue, accompanied by spice flavors like cinnamon and clove.

  • Finish

The whisky makes a stunning and seamless entry. The fragrance of cherry is there, yet it is well balanced with delightful round, sweet flavors. The smoke and sweetness build in the midpalate, bringing the symphony to a close.

At the end of the midpalate, the product picks up a little spice and a smidgeon of bite, leading to a beautiful medium-long finish that maintains the sweet, smoke, and spice notes.

Our Review

Double Black

Johnnie Walker is no doubt a unique beast: it is a hugely popular brand that's available almost wherever Scotch whiskey is sold, but it's also highly regarded, if not adored, by whisky connoisseurs who prefer single malts to blends. The Double Black is a smokier, more Islay-focused version of the brand's traditional flavor.

With a delicate sweetness tempered by mild smoke, Black Label is one of the most wonderfully balanced blended scotches.

On the other hand, with its counterpart, the addition of severely charred ex-sherry barrels and an increase in peated malts in the mix seek to amp up the dry smoky aromas. The final result is a well-blended whiskey for single malt fans, with not just cranked-up smoke but also cranked-up everything.

While it has a surprisingly high octane level for a blend, it lacks the intensity and regional flavor that separates the best single malts. For aficionados of traditional, lighter mixes like Black Label, it may be a little too far out there.

However, taking into consideration how easy it is to swerve off course, it stays together remarkably nicely. It's also a delight to drink it straight up or with an ice cube. It is also worth investing in some of the best bar sets and other high-end liquor, such as a Don Julio 70 Tequila.

Even though Johnnie Walker hasn't revealed which malt whiskies are included in its counterpart’s mixture, depending on the taste (and the fact that Diageo owns the brand), as mentioned above, it is quite safe to assume that smokier whiskies like Caol Ila or Talisker are included.

An interesting fact: while the Black Label is claimed to be at least 12 years old and comes with a label to prove it, there is no age statement coming from the other one.


This Johnnies Walker Double Black review shows that the Double label is not for those who can not handle strong drinks. This potent mix was designed for whiskey enthusiasts who grew up drinking big, bold, and intense alcohol. This isn't your grandfather's blended whisky, which is a great thing considering the circumstances.

  • August 28, 2021
  • Blog
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