Introducing the John Walker & Sons Odyssey Whisky

  • Richard Carleton Hacker

It stands to reason that Johnnie Walker’s master blender, Jim Beveridge—with more than 8 million barrels of whiskies aging in numerous warehouses throughout Scotland—would have quite a challenge if he wanted to select just three of these casks from which to make a superpremium, super-refined vatting. But with the John Walker & Sons Odyssey ($1,100) he has done precisely that. Inspired by Alexander Walker’s passion for epic journeys (plus his original blending notes), the Odyssey is the first triple-single-malt whisky ever produced by the House of Walker.

To clarify, there is absolutely no grain whisky used in this spirit, just three hand-selected single malts from three distinct distilleries, whose identities are a closely held secret. But the musty-sherry and honeyed-heather bouquet of this whisky hints that they are most likely Highland in origin, with at least one of the oak casks coming from Speyside—and perhaps a touch of Islay. A single sip all but confirms this, with elements of stone fruit and a whiff of smoke in the long, extremely smooth finish.

The Odyssey is bottled at 80 proof in a minimalist diamond-faceted crystal decanter mounted in a silver gyroscopic ring that ensures that the nautically themed decanter always rests upright. Thus, Beveridge has literally achieved the perfect balance with this extraordinary whisky, which joins the House of Walker’s rarest scotch blends. (www.johnniewalker.com)

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