Last Updated on December 29, 2022 by Lydia Martin
The official Johnny Walker website considers Johnnie Walker Double Black the “rebellious younger sibling” of the iconic Johnnie Walker Black Label. It’s a lot bolder and smokier, with big, full-bodied flavors.
Today, we’re zeroing in on Johnnie Walker Double Black — price point, tasting notes, and mash bill used — so you can decide if it’s worth trying.
About Johnnie Walker Double Black
The Johnnie Walker Double Black is a blended Scotch whisky said to mimic the bold flavors usually found in single malts: big, smoky, and peaty.
It’s a darker and smokier iteration of the classic Black Label due to the use of more heavily charred casks. It’s said that the Double Black is a variation on Black instead of being a completely distinct whisky, as it has the same blueprint.
The Double Black Scotch whisky is housed in a translucent black bottle with a double gold banding, probably to differentiate from the regular Black Label, which uses a transparent bottle.
History & Origin
Johnnie Walker Double Black was first launched in 2011 after being available only in the travel market . However, after several positive reviews, they decided to launch Double Black as a mainstay in the Johnnie Walker lineup.
Since its decade-long launch, Johnnie Walker Double Black has won numerous awards, including Gold at the 2018 Scotch Whisky Masters and World Whiskies Awards. The label was also a category winner at the 2020 World Whiskies Awards.
How It’s Made
Johnnie Walker Double Black is made from a blend of 40 single malts and grain whiskies of varying age statements. It is more of an iteration of their classic Black Label than a completely different Scotch.
Jim Beveridge, Master Distiller for Diageo, wanted a darker and smokier dram, so he played around with different char levels on casks and whisky proportions until he reached the intensity he wanted.
As a result, he revealed that the final juice contains more Scottish West Coast and Islay whiskies in its blend than the regular Black Label. Johnnie Walker Double Black is finally bottled at 80 proof (40 percent ABV).
Also Read: Johnnie Walker vs Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
Aging Process & Age Statement
Johnnie Walker Double Black is aged inside heavily charred oak barrels. The main difference between the Double Black and classic Black Label is the age statement: the latter is aged for at least 12 years, and the former has no age statement.
Ownership & Distillery
The Johnnie Walker label is owned by Diageo, a multinational alcoholic beverage company based in London, England. It is distilled in the Cardhu Distillery in Speyside, Scotland.
- Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Guide
- Johnnie Walker Blue Label vs Black Label
- Johnnie Walker Black vs Double Black
- Johnnie Walker Black Label vs Red
Why It’s Called Double Black
The Johnnie Walker Double Black is called Double Black because it has the same basic DNA as the Black Label.
Their main difference is that the Double Black expression is aged in more heavily charred casks and has more Islay whisky in the final blend. Check out the rest of the Johnnie Walker colors here.
- Palate: Johnnie Walker Double Black is smokier and peatier than its older sibling. It has a heavily charred, intense flavor, complemented by gentler notes like honey-dipped sweet apples and pears.
- Color/Hue: The Double Black iteration is a touch lighter compared to the Black Label.
- Nose: The Double Black label is predominantly smoky on the nose, with an undertone of sweeter notes like toffee, honey, peaches, and melons.
- Finish: It has an impressively lengthy finish, rife with notes of clove, smoke, and a touch of menthol.
Common Johnnie Walker Double Black Price
|Type||Size||Alcohol By Volume||Average Price|
|Johnnie Walker Double Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky||750 ml||40%||Around $48|
|1 L||40%||Around $60|
Compared to Other Scotch Whiskies
Macallan Double Cask 12-Year-Old Single Malt
The Macallan Double Cask 12-Year-Old Single Malt is aged inside ex-sherry casks. As a result, it has beautiful honey, apricot, spice, and orange zest notes and a medium-length, dry finish. It has a soft yet plump mouthfeel.
A 750ml bottle of Macallan Double Cask 12-Year-Old Single Malt costs around $80, which is more expensive than Johnnie Walker Double Black.
The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old is a Speyside single malt whisky with gorgeous citrus, honeysuckle, and vanilla notes.
It’s aged in ex-bourbon casks, which gives it a beautiful toffee flavor. Of course, those who associate single malts with a peaty flavor might be disappointed.
The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old costs around $51 for a 750ml bottle, which is more or less at par with the Double Black label.
Balvenie DoubleWood 12-Year-Old Single Malt
We love Balvenie DoubleWood 12-Year-Old Single Malt as a sipping scotch, especially when mixed with a bit of water. The dram is made from 100 percent malted barley and aged inside American oak casks for no less than 12 years.
The juice gets dumped into ex-sherry casks  to finish for a couple of months, which lends gorgeous apricot and cherry notes to the classic peat flavor.
Balvenie DoubleWood 12-Year-Old Single Malt costs more or less the same as Macallan at about $73 per 750ml, making it more expensive than Double Black.
Read: Johnnie Walker High Rye Scotch Whisky Guide
Popular Johnnie Walker Double Black Cocktail Recipe
Johnnie Walker Double Black & Soda
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
- ¼ Johnnie Walker Double Black
- ¾ soda water
- Honey syrup
- Lime wedge
Fill a highball glass with ice cubes, then pour the whisky and soda water into the glass. Adjust the sweetness according to your liking by adding a bit of honey syrup. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Is Johnnie Walker Double Black expensive?
Johnnie Walker Double Black isn’t that expensive, and it has great quality to boot. We would consider it a mid-priced Scotch whisky at around $60 per 750ml.
Is Johnnie Walker Double Black better than black?
Yes, Johnnie Walker Double Black is better than their classic Black Label. We find that it’s bolder, smokier, and more vibrant, which is perfect for sipping neat.
Of course, those who are just starting to get into Scotch might find that it’s a bit of an acquired taste, and we recommend the Black Label for them.
What do you mix Johnnie Walker Double Black with?
You can’t go wrong with mixing Johnnie Walker Double Black with soda water or coke. These would be perfect as long drinks to serve with brunch.
How do you serve Johnnie Walker Double Black?
We find that Johnnie Walker Double Black is best served on the rocks or with a little water. Doing so will allow its flavors and aromas to bloom even more. Of course, you are free to serve the Scotch any way you wish, whether in cocktails or neat.
The Johnnie Walker Double Black is a great sipping Scotch whisky if you’re looking for something bold and vibrant to shake things up.
If you loved the Black Label, you’d definitely find this an enjoyable drink. It takes its no-frills, uncomplicated profile and dials up the knob for a memorable experience.
There is plenty of smoke from the heavily-charred barrels, and the high portion of Islay whisky pumps up the peat more.
Do you agree with our thoughts? How did you find Johnnie Walker Double Black? Sound off below!
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.