Last week I attended the launch of two new Johnnie Walker statements in the Blenders Batch series. The Espresso Roast and the Rum Cask finish. Both have their own characters. The rum cask is light and is great in cocktails. Infact, I expected both these bottles to be drams you make cocktails with but to my surprise the Johnnie Walker Espresso Roast has enough complexity to be a great neat drink or on the rocks drink.
The rum cask finish derives its name from cask the whisky has been aged in but the Johnnie Walker Espresso Roast is all about crafting whisky from various barrels to get it to point where its nosing and palate notes begin to mirror that of great coffee.
So does it taste and smell like coffee? Will it take you to the trendy lane ways of Melbourne or to Surry Hills where coffee is served by groovy bearded hipsters? Not quite! The notes are more subtle. They glide by and whisper coffee characters rather than scream it. But more importantly the Johnnie Walker Espresso Roast delivers flavours which work well together.
The aromas are simple yet punchy with toffee and delicate hints of smoke. It’s not a peaty smoke but more so that of heavily toasted bread. When these two notes combine there is a reminder of coffee roasting.
With the first sip you will notice how viscous this dram is compared to other whiskies by Johnnie Walker. Some dark chocolate notes start to develop with passing charred smoke – blink and you could miss it. It’s the viscosity and the dark chocolate notes that provides a sense of espresso. More importantly the notes go well together.
Finish (After Taste)
Bitter spice develops at the finish but dissipates just as quickly as the cocoa returns with some light honey thrown in for good measure.
The Johnnie Walker Espresso Roast is going to offer amazing bang for your buck – the flavour profile works really well together and that’s all you can ask from a whisky. It is set to be released in early January 2018 in all good liquor stores. If you cannot wait till January then just head to a quality bar and they have it available by the pour.
Check out more Whisky articles from Pranil.
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