It was a “Master Tasting” of all times. It is not often that one gets to taste and enjoy a whisky, which has been matured in 100 year old wood and only 330 bottles of it are produced, from each cask. I was lucky to have access to one such bottle & enjoy this masterpiece.
I wanted to feel the “look” of the whisky as a generous dram was poured in a heavy thickset glass, reminding me of the JW blue Label glasses. The pouring was almost like a ritual, as the whisky began its journey from the gorgeous decanter to my glass.
The appearance is bright gold to deep gold to rich gold, changing the texture as lights shine, through the heavy bottomed glass. One can almost feel the smoothness and rich texture of the whisky. Just merrily watching the whisky dance in the glass was enough for me to want to nose the John Walker. A short sniff, a long deep nose indicated citrus and summer fruits, with a hint of smoke. The nose was fresh and elegant, as layers and layers of aroma, come wafting through, gently creeping through the heavy shades of ripen fruits.
Only 6 rare malts and 3 grain whiskies have been married in oak casks to create a blend. The whiskies, which comprise of closed distilleries Glen Albyn and Cambus, besides whisky from all other closed distilleries. In fact, the Master Distiller has used only those whiskies, to which John Walker had access. All of them are closed and only a precious few casks are available.
John Walker is a rare treat, since it is handcrafted at every stage and small batches are produced. Whiskies including the classic Speyside Mortlach have been used to add body, complexity and elegance to the other whiskies in this blend. I have observed that whiskies from mature and rare casks need time to open up and once they do, layers & layers of aroma greet you!
Adding a few drops of chilled water, bought out the underlying sweetness in the whisky with flowery overtones. The Taste was vanilla, okay sweetness and quite smoke. I was tempted to try the smoked chicken and BBQ florets of Brocooli with it since I felt heavy foods and spicy notes, will interfere with the elegance.
It took me all of 20 mts to savour the first dram and as a second one was being poured out, I could feel Scotland in my glass.
Truly a remarkable experience.