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Johnnie Walker Strikes Gold—Again

Richard Carleton Hacker

Eagle-eyed observers traveling through duty-free shops around the world recently may have noticed an eye-catching gold metallic bottle displayed among the other Johnnie Walker Scotch brands. This was the public premiere of a new, highly individualistic whiskey, Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve ($87). Now, with its limited-edition reflective gold bottle, it is available in the United States for a short time only.

Gold Label Reserve is succeeding Johnnie Walker Gold Label 18 Year Old and was created by the master blender Jim Beveridge using many of the same single malts, including Clynelish. However, Gold Label Reserve carries no age statement and has been specifically blended to produce a slightly lighter, less peaty flavor. It thus has more versatility in cocktails, with artisanal mixers such as those from Fever-Tree, and served over ice, which brings out more of its complex fruit flavors, with creamy honey overtones and just a touch of smoke and vanilla in the finish. In fact, Gold Label Reserve falls right in between Johnnie Walker Black, best served in cocktails or with ice, and the new Platinum 18 Year Old, which is darker in color and made for sipping neat.

“Gold Label Reserve features some of my favorite whiskies,” says Beveridge. “It’s an exciting blend that offers a distinct new flavor for current Johnnie Walker fans and an appealing taste for people newer to Scotch whisky.” (www.johnniewalker.com)

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