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Review: Johnnie Walker Black 12 yr. (1970s)

Johnnie Walker Black 12 yr. (1970s) - 43.4%

Not your current JW Black. Some of the different factors in play here include distillate from shuttered distilleries like Brora as well as the potential use of paxarette which can produce a different profile than contemporary sherry casks. Paxarette (a blend of vino de color, Oloroso, Pedro Ximenez, and wine must) has since been banned as it was designated a flavor additive. It was, however, responsible for some distinct styles of scotch pre-1990.


Notes: Musty and fungal with a whole bunch of savory spice. Smoked pork. Earthy. Clay. Mustard greens. Putty. Toast. There's some fruit and toffee beneath it all, but what jumps out of the glass is old and rotty and industrial in a great way. Gentle and sweet on entry. Marshmallow. Toffee starts and carries through. Mid-palate spikes with smoke and some underripe strawberry. Touch of yogurt. Finish cleans up with some ash and metallic undertones.

Score: 7 (Highly Recommend) This nose is unreal. Different sherry cask influence for sure whether that's paxarette or an older style of sherry, I don't have enough experience to say. Either way, it's certainly not a contemporary style and reminds me of some really lovely and rotty cognacs I've tried - i.e. Through The Grapevine Conte Filles Cask 63 - Cognac - 47%. Palate can play a touch muddled and the finish could use some legs. That said, it manages to be both challenging and approachable.


Rating System

10 - Reevaluate The Budget

9 - Stash Two (If Able)

8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)

7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers

6 - Solid - Above Average

5 - Acceptable For The Situation

4 - Not Vocally Complaining

3 - Anything Else To Drink?

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour

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