G’day guys. And my God what a busy week. Returning from courses, applying newfound skills, but biggest of all – Attempting to work for a living in this boiling hot hell of a heat! I’m convinced Queenslanders are reptiles; I’m slowly dying while everyone around seems oblivious to the heat. I can’t become self employed quick enough. Be it commercial, or residential real estate, the first thing you inspect is the air con. I can’t believe there’s people out there that think they are luxuries. So, before I go back to work, let’s blog some Scotch. On ice.
So we all know Johnnie Walker, the consort of the Three Wise Men from the eastern side of the Atlantic. One of, if not the most famous label in Scotch nowadays. Bears the Royal Warrant and has loyal drinkers on all continents. They have a wide range of drinks, though their classing system is divided into colours. So it can be a little confusing to those unfamiliar, but I’ll get straight to the question – The Johnnie Walker Red label is the cheapest in the range; a rough cocktail mixer, that is too harsh to drink without anything to mix with. Rough as guts, but it does at least show without a single shadow of a doubt they don’t skimp on the peat. Their Blue Label, the most prestigious bottle in their range (mentioned by colour, at least. There’s actually a few more even more expensive after it), retailing at a very upper-class two hundred and thirteen Australian dollars. But like I’ve said, there’s a few more spilling over this basic ranking. Aside from their step up on their standard Black Label, their Double Black. There’s their Rum cask bottle. Their prestigious Swing bottle, the last batch of Scotch crafted by the son of the founder, Sir Alexander Walker. In lieu of the finale of Game of Thrones, their total of three bottles named after the show; The White Walker bottle, A Song of Fire, and A Song of Ice (Strange that the American whiskey industry doesn’t have an equivelan in lieu of Avengerst; I’d love the idea of a Jim Beam Stark Edition). And there’s this – The Sweet Peat.
Now this Scotch enters with all the precursors of a liqueur. It’s a five hundred mill bottle, and it has the word “sweet” right there in the title. I only know of one other Scotch Liqueur, that’s Drambuie, the latter half (or third, depending on however you make it) of the Rusty Nail. A honey and spice infused Scotch, sweet and gooey in character, withholding it’s signature smokey flavor right on the back of the palette. This is fairly evident, although it has literally gone without saying in this case. So only really by tasting it can we really tell, although I’d put money on this being a liqueur. Now, I’m a bloke that likes my Scotches heavy on the peat. I love the gritty, dark, smoky flavor of a heavily peated Scotch. I’ve marked down Scotches in the past for being too fruity, too light on the smoke. So suffice it to say, when I read the name of this bottle, I purchased it with some skepticism. So let’s see.
So the bottle is fairly straightforward but pleasant to look at. A shrunken version of the typical Johnnie Walker bottle, with of course, the forty-five degree angled label. A bulb in the neck houses the outwardly circular appearing cork. And a look inside shows a caramel brown liquor housed within. A pop of the cork, and the Scotch expels a nose of a honey fused peated Scotch. Sweet and toasty, thick in consistency, but still with unequivocal peated Scotch, with hints of vanilla and brown cinnamon. The taste; A distinctively sweetened entry with tastes of honey, hints of vanilla, brown cinnamon, lemon tart, and orange. And an exit and spicy aftertaste of peat.
To summarize: To answer my earlier query, I wouldn’t go as far as saying this is actually a liqueur either, but there’s definite alterations here at play. Infusions or blending done to what my guess is the standard Black Label. As I said, I love a peated Scotch, and the sweetened taste of this whisky doesn’t come at the expense of the smoky flavour. It’s worth a try if you also like Scotch whisky and are looking for something a bit left of centre. Cheers