I paired this up with an Opus X fuente fuente; normally a great smoke, but mine proved to be pretty hard to keep lit, but the flavors still went together very well.
For my review, I poured a nice 2 finger dram over 3 ice cubes. This is how I normally drink my scotch and wanted to do the same for review purposes.
The color of this scotch is nice and golden. As far at the color spectrum for scotches which range from a clear gin to deep liquorice, this one falls right about in the middle. Appearance is nice and clear, the color bright.
Aroma-Unreduced. When I smell this scotch before adding any water or ice cubes to it, it actually confuses me. I try my best to pick up identifiable smells, but I all really pick up is a sweet, buttery like smell that quickly turns to a tingly feel in my nose from the alcohol I guess.
Aroma-Reduced. Once the ice is added to it and its had a couple of minutes to sit, I still pick up the same aroma, but now its smoother and a bit more complex. I think you could spend the entire evening trying to pick out all the little intricacy's that this one produces.
Upon initial taste, I find this scotch to be very rich, and very complex. It leaves your mouth and tongue with a tingly finish that seems to last a couple of minutes. Before the ice has a chance to melt down at all, it really has a sort of bite to it, but its a good characteristic! I would say mouth feel is both creamy, and astringent. As the ice melts into the scotch, the flavor profile really, really smooths out and gets very balanced! All the same flavor is there, just more subtle.
I have been trying to read about scotches and how to properly review them. One thing I have recently read is that like wine, a whisky can be judged as being good if its well balanced. Well, I would say this one is great then! As complex as it is, but to still be balanced like it is says alot.
The finish is very impressive on this one. It doesn't matter if its poured neat, or on ice, the finish lasts at least a couple minutes. A real nice mouth feel to it and the flavors just keep on coming!
A few notes that I made after lighting the opus.
- Intense spicyness of the Opus seems to pair very well with the complexity of the scotch
- The finish of the scotch is apparent first, and then it slowy fades into the taste of the cigar. This was one of my favorite things about the combination.
- After about 15 minutes on ice and about 5 minutes into the cigar, its apparent its a good match.
The only thing disappointing about tonight was the burn quality of my cigar. It still was a great tasting opus, but I really had some troubles with the draw, and keeping it lit. I guess I need to look into the storage RH of opus and if it should be lower.
However you look at it, this is a fantastic scotch. Its very tasty and very easy to drink. If you aren't careful, you could easily put a big dent in this bottle in no time. My favorite thing about it though is how it possesses qualities of both intensity while being smooth at the same time. Its very robust, but balanced at the same time in every way.
All in all, I'm very happy with this dram. It was suggested to me by AVB for the celebration of the birth of my girls, and it did not disappoint. As Ray would say, "While not for everyone and certainly not for every time Johnnie Walker Blue Label is a whiskey enjoyed best with accomplishment. When you know you deserve a whisky as fine as this and have the time to savor it, Blue Label will not let you down. "