Bought: Amazon, 15th December 2014
Ralfy’s review is of the 18yo version of Gold Label, as opposed to the NAS (non-aged statement) ‘Reserve’ version I have. The NAS version is the one most commonly found in supermarkets here in the UK, having been launched in 2013. I bought mine from Amazon as part of the Johnnie Walker 4-pack of 20cl bottles, made up of Gold, Black, Blue and Platinum. I needed the Gold and Platinum to complete my set of Johnnie Walker colours, which go with Black, Double Black, Blue, Green and Red.
The Whisky Bible score of 91.5/100 is excellent. The author, Jim Murray, says “moments of true star quality here, but the finish could do with a polish”. He scores the taste 24/25 but the finish 22/25. Nevertheless, that’s still a good score. Perhaps if it had been 46% instead of 40%?! But that can be said about many whiskies.
According to the Whisky Bible, the colours of JW rank in this order:
95.5/100 – Black Label
95/100 – Green Label
94.5/100 – Double Black
91.5/100 – Gold Label ‘Reserve’
88/100 – Platinum Label
88/100 – Blue Label
87.5/100 – Red Label
Even the Red Label gets a very respectable score. But with the price of the Blue Label you’d expect it to be top of the table, not languishing near the bottom. The Gold’s score of 91.5/100 classifies it as “brilliant”, which is good to hear!