As a brand Johnnie Walker is a household name, regardless of whether you are a whisky drinker or not, many would have heard of the name. Some perhaps know the name and still have no idea what they do, they are that big. And yet, there is this limited edition from Johnnie Walker that will not only intrigue collectors but also the casual whisky drinker. Crafted by Master Blender Jim Beveridge and a small team of blenders using eight hand-picked whiskies, this limited edition has been developed with liquid from the iconic Port Ellen distillery at its heart, this second edition of Blue Label Ghost & Rare features liquid from two other closed distilleries, Caledonian and Carsebridge, as well as rare malt from Blair Athol, Oban, Mortlach, Cragganmore and Dailuaine.
On the nose: is a wonderful burst of butterscotch, closely followed by sherry and salty caramel. These initial notes are followed by notes of vanilla sponge cake, cracked black pepper, spices, cinnamon and peat. Notes of lemon bonbons start to appear followed by a sharp crisp note of granny smiths apples. Completing the palate are notes of raspberries, a light floral note, smoke and roasted bitter coffee beans. On the palate: those lovely butterscotch and salty caramel notes are apparent, followed by those notes of sherry, raspberries and even notes of poached pears. Notes of a strong peaty nature start to emerge, alongside those spicy notes of cinnamon and black pepper. The palate is nicely rounded-off by notes of vanilla, oats and a note that can only be likened to Christmas cake. The finish: long, zesty and sweet, with lingering notes of peat and salt.
The verdict: This Ghost & Rare Port Ellen from Johnnie Walker is a very intriguing drop of liquid gold. The palate on this dram is like a coin, with two completely different sides, it seems to effortlessly switch between peat, salty and spicy notes to sweet and fruity. It just keeps going back and forth, giving the dram a nice balance and making it even more enjoyable each time. With an ABV of 43.8%, in my opinion, you don’t really need to add any water. However, if you require water then add in small quantities until it’s right for you but to truly experience the full riches of the notes, then I suggest you leave to breathe for approximately 3 – 5 minutes.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare Port Ellen Blended Scotch Whisky can be found in-store or online at the Whisky Shop for approximately £275
For more information on this Port Ellen Ghost & Rare, visit the official Johnnie Walker website.