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Johnnie Walker Blue vs Black Label Whisky Compared (2022)

Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Lydia Martin

The debate about the best Johnnie Walker label has been on the table for a long time. Especially the Black and the Blue labels, the crowd is torn because both are high-quality blended Scotch whisky bottles with superb taste.

To determine which Scotch whisky is superior, we dissected the two superior labels to learn about their values. 

Let’s learn more about these premium blend whiskies and find out which is better between Johnny Walker Blue vs Black. 

Johnnie Walker Blue & Black Face-Off

Johnnie Walker Blue & Black with boxes on desk

Johnnie Walker Blue Label is a blended Scotch whisky made of the finest and rarest single malts and high-quality grain whiskies.

It is sourced from Speyside and Highland whisky varieties 28 years old or older. 

Johnnie Walker Black Label is made from a blend of over forty malt and grain whisky varieties.

It is made of spirits aged no less than twelve years from distilleries found in the four parts of Scotland. 

Key Differences 

Key Differences 

Age Statement

Johnnie Walker Blue Label is a blend of Scotland’s finest, rarest, and most exceptional bottles of whisky. Only one among a thousand casks in their position is chosen to be fit for this label.

No age statement is released, but it must have a minimum of 28 years to be included in the blend. 

Johnnie Walker Black Label is a mix of whisky bottles not younger than 12 years and are rich in peat [1] smoke.

Like the Blue Label, no specific age statement is released, but JW Black is matured for three years after the whiskies are blended. 

Blends

Blends

The blue label bottle consists of a luxurious blend of rare whiskies from two different distilleries, Speyside and Highland. Islay whiskies deliver a good deal of smoke and peat, a part of the blend.

Meanwhile, the black label focuses on a light, smokey and mellow note. The mixture of malt and grain whisky varieties is carefully calculated to achieve the particular flavor they are aiming for. 

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Alcohol Content

JW Black Label and Blue label both contain 40% ABV. Both are bottled 80 proof, the same as Johnnie Walker Red Label, Johnnie Walker Green Label, and Johnnie Walker Gold. 

The Johnnie Walker portfolio contains the same alcohol levels, including the Double Black label. 

Availability

Availability

The Blue Label is the rarest among all the variants from this brand because of the special single malt Scotch blended to produce it.

The Black Label is also a special blend. However, it is easier to find in stores and bars. 

Pairings

The Blue Label is best paired with toasted nuts or smoked salmon, best served in an equally meaningful event.

On the other hand, Johnnie Walker Black is great with savory food such as smoked meat. You can also drink it with chilled ginger ale topped with lime juice.

Tasting Notes

Johnnie Walker Blue & Black with glasses on table

Palate

The Blue label has smooth and balanced flavors of dark chocolate, hazelnuts, pepper, and spice with just the right amount of smokiness. 

Black label is loved for its burst of balanced flavors of dried fruit, caramel, winter spice, and toffee with a blend of banana and the white smoke that lingers. 

Nose

Johnnie Walker Blue Label has a strong scent of oak, dried fruits, spices, and cereals.

On the contrary, Johnnie Walker Black label has rich vanilla notes with bright citrus hints, dark fruits, and signature smokiness.

Color

Johnnie Walker Black Label has a polished amber hue, while Johnnie Walker Blue Label has a darker shade of gold with a dense amber shade.

Finish

Johnnie Walker Blue Label is made of the highest quality blended grain and malt whiskies, producing a lengthy finish.

Meanwhile, the Black Label is known for its sweet, long, lingering finish with deep peat, peppery and smokey notes. 

Price Point

A 750 ml bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Scotch whisky costs roughly $200. This isn’t surprising, considering it’s an exquisite blend of the most exceptional and rarest Scotch whiskies.   

On the other hand, Johnnie Walker Black is priced at roughly $35. It is a very reasonable price which most of the bottles bearing the Johnnie Walker brand have. 

Similarities Between Johnnie Walker Black & Blue Label 

Similarities Between Johnnie Walker Blue & Black

Johnnie Walker Black Label and Blue Label are blended Scotch whiskies with many awards and recognitions. Both are made of matured quality liquors.

This aged, stock Scotland whisky is a product of master distillers Johnnie Walker and Alexander Walker, together with John Walker II. It also contains the same ABV. 

FAQs

Which is smoother, Johnnie Walker Blue or Black?

Johnnie Walker Blue is smoother than Johnnie Walker Black Label because its blend uses a higher core range of casks than the Black Label. The flavors of the blended whiskies are also very savory.

Is Johnnie Walker Blue better drank neat than Black?

Yes, Johnnie Walker Blue is better drank neat than Black because it is smoother. JW Blue is the brand’s line most aspired by most whisky drinkers.

But other Johnnie Walker labels such as the Johnnie Walker Red Label, Green Label, and the Gold label are also a good choice for sipping on leisurely nights. 

So, Which Do We Prefer?

The much better Johnnie Walker whisky would be the Blue Label. Excellent taste is also expected from quality blended malt Scotch such as the Black label.

However, there is no question about what results in a blend of the premium, hand-crafted, and exclusive single malts and grain whisky bottles. 

The complexity of its flavor is incomparable. The price may be high, but this is the whisky you drink in an equally momentous event.

Hands down, the Blue Label is the superior whisky between the two.

Reference:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/peat

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