Whisky and Words Number Six: Johnnie Walker Black / the Two-Jacksons

Johnny Walker logo, (c) Diageo plc.
Johnny Walker logo, (c) Diageo plc.

This is a bit unfair to old JWB — he wants to just keep walking, but just as the old boy saunters past the once-garish, now-tatty hawker’s booth nestled in the seawall of Old Brighton, just west of the pier, out come a couple yobs wielding – wait for it – glencairn glasses. Frightening. You guessed it, we’re not just looking at old JW Black here, but comparing him to another Black and a simian. And even a single-malt. Which we gotta do as there are 1000 reviews of JWB around – we need some spice for this old pottage.

Seymour Duncan JB pickup, in situ.
Seymour Duncan JB pickup, in situ.

Johnnie Walker comes up a lot in my reviews of blends because I consider the Black a damn good whisky for the price. At $40 US (two Jacksons), you get a consistent product which has enough character to sip neat. And yet, do I buy it often? No, because like my wife and her cooking, I can’t leave well enough alone. I’m always trying new things, even when I’ve found something I like. Johnny Black is like a Seymour Duncan ‘JB’ guitar pickup – reliable in character, and although you know you’ll stray, it’s also known you’ll return home now and then to its comfortable familiarity. It even has a similar name, and costs about the same. Weird, huh?

Continue reading “Whisky and Words Number Six: Johnnie Walker Black / the Two-Jacksons”

Whisky and Words Number Five: Black Bottle

The Black Bottle
The Black Bottle

The Black Bottle is a whisky that I’ve anticipated for some time. It has a legendary status on the internet as a remarkably good whisky for a reasonable price. I had hopes it might topple Johnny Walker Black as the two-Jackson ($40) standard bottling to keep in the liquor cabinet. JWB serves as a standard for balance and reasonable complexity around here.

But as the redoubtable Ralfy commented in Review #450, the bottling has apparently changed. In his review #16, from 2009, he talked of golden syrup, fresh fruit and integrated peat. The color was a light gold – he even referred to them backing off on the caramel coloring.

Continue reading “Whisky and Words Number Five: Black Bottle”