Diageo Group, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland
Wow, we end the year on a high note with a special blend for my 500th review!
In 1982, in the cult film Blade Runner, Ridley Scott, found himself a discreet little star. A futuristic bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label accompanied Rick Deckard in his mysterious reflections. 35 years later, Diageo sniffed the greenback trail and created a new Johnnie Walker Black Label for the early sequel to the film, Blade Runner 2049.
Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director's Cut is a blend produced in limited edition, developed by Master Blender Jim Beveridge in collaboration with the decade director, our home away from home Denis Villeneuve. This experimental blend would be inspired by Blade Runner 2049, and presented in a new bottle with a futuro-constructivist-bauhaus-cyberpunk look.
This bottling is 49% alcohol, a reference to 2049 of course. The original film from 1982 taking place in the futuristic Los Angeles of 2019, this is a bit my deadline for the publication of this article…
As the Dutch actor said so well Rutger Hauer (1944-2019) said so well:
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
Larger and more refined than the regular JW Black. The idea of crunching the alcohol level at 49% may be a gimmick at the start, but in absolute terms it serves the cause admirably. Malt, grapes and vanilla surrounded by sweet smoke. You can barely smell the grain. Honey and apples, cocoa and leather. Very nice blend.
JW Black on steroids. Honey and vanilla, spices and oak. We can feel the alcohol ramp, the choice to leave it at more than 40% is the best decision we could have made. The flavors are extremely rich and omnipresent. Smoke and leather in the distance. We taste a background of Caol Ila towards the end.
Beautiful and gentle descent on the oak board. Spices, vanilla, leather, orange, raisins and crisp apples. Black tea, licorice and pepper. Light peat which unfortunately lasts just not long enough. We want more!
What may have seemed like a marketing coup at the outset is finally revealed as a blend of surprising quality! Bold alcohol levels, the know-how of one of the biggest blends manufacturers in the world, future-black branding ... There is nothing here to displease me! It's too bad she won't live. But then again, who does?
Note: ★ ★ ★ ★★