Despite being the devilish diabolical despot of the whisky industry, Diageo also bring out some damn interesting whiskies.
There seem to be never ending different editions of the Blue Label (London Edition, year of the Monkey, a cask strength one, King George V, among others) but this newer series of blended whiskies that celebrate some of Diageo’s closed and rare stocks did stick out. For one, they had a list of the distilleries used on the back and for another this version focusses on Port Ellen.
How much Port Ellen was actually used in the batch we have no idea. However, we do know that it was blended with grain whisky from Carsebridge and Caledonian (both closed) with malts from Mortlach, Oban, Dailuaine, Cragganmore and Blair Athol.
Once again, thanks go to Colin Dunn for the sample.
Johnnie Walker Ghost & Rare- Port Ellen 43.8%
Nose: Closed at first, red apple and faint Islay smoke, malt, creamy vanilla, definite Talisker-esque spice- black pepper, cumin. After a bit there’s a little garden shed thing, spiced honey but it’s all a little flat.
Taste: Soft but lacking power, creamy grain, some vanilla, cream soda, spice and malt coming in then, black pepper, long development with smoke and chocolate, more malt, lightly earthy.
Finish: Medium length. Seems to fall short but comes back with late earthy malt and dark chocolate.
Not amazing on the smell (it might need more time to open up) but good taste and finish. I think the grain may have been a bit flat and that’s dragging it down. I do love the information on the label giving us the different distilleries used and this is an interesting take (and a slight improvement) on the usual Blue Label.
Thanks for reading!
Scotch Review #824
Whisky Network Review #982
Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as the Global Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.