Johnnie Walker Black Label, 1970s bottling, 40%

20190915_135522About a decade ago, you could buy random bottles like this in auction just to spread the shipping costs over more than one bottle. I looked it up in the backlog of the auction site where I got this one from, and I paid € 21 for the bottle.

Twentyone euros for a bottle of blended whisky bottled in the seventies. Which put distillation of this in the early to mid-sixties. For that money I’m in!

I think I’ve only had one older Black Label and that was bottled in 1958 and was approaching Brora like levels of intensity and flavor. Short to say, I loved that!

Lots of that very old blend character. Dunnage warehouses, with wet soil and cement, mold and fungus. Old barley, thick porridge, some oak.

Quite intense without being sharp. Some sweetness from grains and alcohol. Very consistent with the nose. Quite rich on grains, wood and those hessian, moldy, leathery flavors.

A very smooth and warming finish. Quite long with a bit of dryness of the grain and oak.

Better than the average contemporary single malt. So much depth, and character. It’s not as good as the 1958 one, but it’s almost 20 years newer so I didn’t expect that either. This is a cracking whisky and there’s not much stuff bottled today that reaches the uniqueness of this, nor the intensity of it (except when bottled at high strength, but that’s not what I mean).

I might have to get to checking auctions again, and see if stuff like this is still around…


Johnnie Walker Black Label, bottled in the (mid?) seventies, 40%


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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