Think of a Scotch whiskey and Johnnie Walker probably comes to mind. As one of the world’s most beloved and well-known producers of blended Scotch whiskeys, Johnnie Walker consistently outsells most brands internationally and sweeps first prize in whiskey tasting competitions.
Just a quick glimpse at the offerings Johnnie Walker has and you will find some of the most impressive Scotch whiskeys out there. These include some incredible no-age-statement blends such as the Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
Then, there are some equally as phenomenal age-statement whiskeys such as the Johnnie Walker Black Label. This has an age statement of 12 years while the Platinum Label has an age statement of 18 years.
The Blue Label is Johnnie Walker’s most expensive and premium blend. But, that doesn’t mean we can not compare it to the Black Label. Yes, comparing different blends of Johnnie Walker whiskeys is no easy task but we are here to do just that.
In today’s blog, we will be comparing the Johnnie Walker (see also: Best Johnnie Walkers)Blue Label and the Johnnie Walker Black Label. From their most premium and luxurious blend to one of the brand’s best-selling whiskeys, read on as we try to find a winner between the two.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Each artist strives to create a masterpiece. The Blue Label may just be Johnnie Walker’s ‘pièce de résistance.’ This blend is the company’s most expensive and premium product on offer.
This no-age-statement whiskey blend has a vintage air to it. It’s up there with some of the rarest whiskeys from the highlands of Scotland. If you want to enjoy an exclusive experience, then Johnnie Walker Blue Label may be just what you’re looking for.
Johnnie Walker state that only one in ten thousand casks are deemed to be quality enough for its Blue Label.
This whiskey is produced using some of the first blueprints that Alexander Walker drew up when starting his whiskey empire. When you taste the Johnnie Walker Blue Label, you are tasting the earliest creations of Johnnie Walker’s blends.
Luxurious, exclusive, and truly illustrious, Johnnie Walker Blue Label manages to encapsulate flavors from all corners of Scotland resulting in a unique world-class whiskey blend.
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Johnnie Walker Black Label
Introduced way back in 1870, Johnny Walker Black Label still offers its creator’s authenticity and distinctiveness. This is, by far, one of the best quality blended Scotch whiskeys in the world.
In fact, Johnnie Walker Black Label outsells all deluxe Blended Scotch whiskeys worldwide, year after year.
With a rich yet smooth blend of approximately 40 of the very best Scottish whiskeys, Johnnie Walker Black Label inhibits the soft Scottish east coast flavors as well as the more robust west coast malts. Matured for 12 years, every second is worth waiting for.
One of the best-selling blends of Johnnie Walker Black Label has an age statement of 12 years. This blend not only combines the flavors of the east coast and West coast whiskeys of Scotland but also their aromas.
With so many blends in one whiskey, Johnnie Walker Black Label can be enjoyed raw, with soda, water, or ginger ale, and is taken as a smooth, flavorful long drink.
Described as intense and peaty by many who drink it, the Black Label beverage was known as the Extra Special Old Highland Whiskey before 1909.
Ever since its inception, Johnnie Walker Black Label has captured the hearts of Scotch whiskey drinkers worldwide and continues to dominate the market to this very day.
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Johnnie Walker Blue Label Vs Black Label: Comparisons
As well as age statements, prices, and the premium nature of these whiskeys, the tasting notes of the Blue and Black Labels also differ. Let’s explore these differences below.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Very rich but with a subtle sweetness of honey, Johnnie Walker Blue Label also provides traces of dried fruits and pepper for a distinctive yet highly enjoyable tasting experience.
The initial aromas that meet you are of hazelnuts, oranges, and honey. Delve a little deeper and you will experience hints of sandalwood, ginger, and dark chocolate. The perfect fall whiskey.
The medium finish of Johnnie Walker Blue Label is undoubtedly one of the best. Long and lingering, this Scotch whiskey is smooth and well balanced with a smoky finish resulting in the highest quality whiskey.
Johnnie Walker Black Label
Johnnie Walker Blue Label has a creamy taste. Its creaminess is perfectly met with delightful notes of toffee and hints of dry spice and smoky oak.
With traces of vanilla surfacing with each sip, Johnnie Walker Blue Label has a strong flavor. Topped with a robust blend of tropical fruits, it offers a wonderful aroma every time.
Johnnie Walker Black Label is a typical example of their long finish whiskey. With hints of fruit and a smoky flavor, not one sip disappoints.
When we consider the tasting notes of both Johnnie walker Blue and Black labels, they are intriguingly similar. Both offer a smoky profile with hints of fruitness. But, there is no doubt that both have unique and individual characteristics.
As to which is the best, this is highly subjective and a matter of personal preference.
Prices vary depending on where and how you purchase a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue and Black Labels.
Currently, Johnnie Walker Black Label is considerably cheaper than the Blue Label (almost 4 times to be precise).
This is no surprise as Johnnie Walker Blue Label is considered to be one of the company’s most premium whiskeys so its price is always Johnnie Walker’s most expensive product.
If you are on a budget but still want a quality bottle of Scotch whiskey, Johnnie Walker Black Label would be your best option. But, if you’re happy to fork out over one hundred dollars to enjoy a premium whiskey, then Johnnie Walker Blue Label is the one to go with.
What Is The Difference Between The Johnnie Walker Labels?
Johnnie Walker introduced labels to its whiskeys in 1909. Ever since, these labels have helped distinguish the expression of one Johnnie Walker Scotch whiskey from another. How? Through the colors on the labels.
Each color represents a different blend of whiskey that has been aged for a certain amount of time. The oldest whiskeys tend to be the most expensive such as the Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
All in all, there are 6 Johnnie Walker colored labels. From the lowest to the highest price, these are:
- Johnnie Walker Red
- Johnnie Walker Black
- Johnnie Walker Double Black
- Johnnie Walker Green
- Johnnie Walker Gold
- Johnnie Walker Blue
So, Why is Johnnie Walker Blue Label so Expensive?
Only the rarest and most exceptional whiskeys in the world are selected to make Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Therefore, this is the most revered and exceptional of all Johnnie Walker whiskeys.
The master distiller handpicks each whiskey according to its sheer quality. Then, these are mixed together to create a unique and world-class blend using an early nineteenth-century process and style.
The whiskeys that make the Blue Label blend are typically older (20 years and over). In the world of Whiskey, the price tends to directly correlate with the whiskey’s age due to its potential rarity. There tend to be fewer amounts of these whiskeys because of evaporation over time and the fact that it is typically very expensive to store and maintain whiskey for such long periods.
Although there are a range of exceptional whiskeys offered by Johnnie Walker, the Blue Label is, without doubt, the smoothest and most complex resulting in the highest price tag.
Which Is Better? Johnnie Walker Blue Label Or Johnnie Walker Black Label?
As we mentioned earlier, preferences of whiskey tastes can be highly subjective. You may find that a cheaper priced whiskey is more enjoyable than some premium products.
Therefore, trying to state which is between the Johnnie Walker Blue and Black Labels is somewhat unfair and often a matter of personal preference.
That being said, the exclusivity of the premium blend from the Blue Label means it is regularly regarded as the better whiskey between the two. However, we would argue that its quality does not warrant a price tag four times that of Johnnie Walker Black Label.
The Black Label is a whiskey that can be enjoyed every day. It offers more versatility as it can be consumed neat, on the rocks, with water, or even in the style of a Japanese highball.
Yes, Johnnie Walker Blue Label is meticulously crafted and incredibly exquisite but its higher price means it is best kept for special occasions.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label is wonderfully smooth and easy to drink. However, when you consider its high price, it seems to lack a little character. We would argue it’s hardly worth half of its current retail price.
Whether you choose Johnnie Walker Black Label or Blue Label, you will be choosing quality but at considerably different prices.