Johnnie Walker Whisky Tasting

2019 HAL World Cruise

Friday, February 21, 2019


When we are at sea, there is always something to do.  Keeping busy is never a problem!

And so, on Friday, we attended a Johnnie Walker Whisky Tasting.  This event was by invitation.  It was set up in the piano bar, one of the smaller venues aboard the MS Amsterdam, and seemed to be a packed house!

We sampled 4 different blends:  Black Label, Double Black, Platinum and Blue Label.

Everyone was familiar with Black Label: aged for 12 years, smoky, peppery, hints of citrus.  However, many of us had never tried Double Black which turned out to be smokier, less fruity and less peppery than Black Label.  It also had notes of honey.  Double Black is aged in deep oak barrels.

Neither Roger nor I were familiar with Platinum.  It is aged for 18 years; is a little smoky but has more of a fruity flavor; still retains a bit of a peppery finish.

Of course, Blue Label was the star of the tasting!  Blended in small batches with only the finest whiskies, this is neither smoky nor peppery.  It has a nutty component and fruity flavor.  It is very smooth!

This particular event was by invitation. Perhaps, because it included samplings of the pricier blends.
The Johnnie Walker Whisky Tasting is, of course, meant to generate sales. But it’s always a pleasure to learn something about a product, especially a product that we consume only sporadically.
It was a packed room for the tasting.
It was a packed room for the tasting.
True to their word, we were regaled with the premium blends.
True to their word, we were regaled with the premium blends.
We were provided with 4 tiny cups for whisky and a cup of chocolate to cleanse the palate between tastings. We were also given a glass of water. Water can enhance the flavor of whisky. Hence the popularity of whisky “on the rocks.”
Brookside dark chocolate with a pomegranate flavor was the choice to cleanse our palates between tastings.
Just as for wine or beer, we had a tasting sheet for notes.
Just as for wine or beer, we had a tasting sheet for notes.
And we used it!
And we used it!
Tasting began with Johnnie Walker Black Label and Double Black. Black Label is a blended whisky, aged for 12 years. It is smoky with hints of citrus and a very definite peppery finish. On board the ship, this will retail for $29.00.
Johnnie Walker Platinum Label, blended, aged 18 years. This is a little more fruity; a little less smoky; still with a slight peppery finish. On board, this will retail for $98.00.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label is a small batch blend. This is their premium brand. It has a nutty flavor; it’s more fruity with very little of the peppery or smoky flavor. Very smooth. On board the ship, this retails for $266.00.
Cassandra, the Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassador, has informed us that bourbon and vodka tastings are also coming up. We’ll be there!


We’ve been told bourbon and vodka tastings are in the works.  I’ll keep you posted!!!!

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