[Review] Johnnie Walker - Blue Label 40%

After the Black Label a couple of weeks ago, here is Johnnie Walker Blue Label. I know I am jumping a few stages in between, as the Johnnie Walker Black is a rather inexpensive bottle compared to the Blue which is the top of the range, rather dear bottle, but a friend of mine gave me a sample at the weekend and I thought I could review it today, whilst having my first ever sip of this prestigious and iconic premium blend. 
The Blue Label does not have an age statement on the bottle and is crafted from "hand-selected casks of some of the rarest and most exceptional whiskies" according to the website. It is also bottled at 40%, which I find a little bit surprising considering the product itself and what it represents, a premium blend. I also presume it has been chill-filtered and coloured, probably for consistency across the different markets (US in particular). Now for the price... To get a bottle of 'Blue' you will probably have to part with the best part of about £180, which is a lot for a bottle of whisky, let alone a blend. The big question is: Is it at least worth the money? Well, let's have a sip...

Nose: Fruity and woody with some oak and cedar wood, dried and fresh fruit and hints of citrus

Palate: Very smooth and easy drinking, like the Black Label, some fruity vanilla, honey, milk chocolate and faint smoke running in the background

Finish: Not too short but I don't find it to last for very long either. Fruity again with touches of spices and oak

With Water: I thought I wouldn't add water to this whisky but as I was reaching the last couple of sips, I went for two or three drops in the glass. The nose changed instantly, I found it fresher, crisper, less sweet with more citrus and even some hints of fresh linen. The palate is the same, the water, which I have always found to add sweetness to a dram, seems to take some of the sweetness away here, leading to a spicier finish. 

So what is it like overall? It isn't a bad whisky, but for me it is certainly not worth the money. To be perfectly honest, I prefer the Black Label of which I just had a small dram straight after trying the Blue. The Black might feel younger than the Blue but for a difference of about £150, it is a no-brainer in my opinion. I think the Blue Label is a very good, smooth, daily dram if money is no object, but for most of us, who do like to get value for money, the Black is the better option!

Thanks again Phil for this interesting sample!

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