Type: Blended Scotch
Score: 94 points
This is the first edition in what is planned to be an annual series of releases under the Private Collection label, and was created by Johnnie Walker Master Blender Dr. Jim Beveridge from a group of experimental casks set aside years ago. The experiment took a blend of malts from several Highland distilleries and married them in a batch of “rejuvenated” re-charred casks for several years, and finally blending them with grain whiskies finished in European Oak and malts from Islay. 8,888 bottles were produced for worldwide distribution.
The result is a whisky with a smoky, rich nose that carries a good blend of peat and wood campfire smoke balanced by molasses, vanilla, and a subtle fruitiness with orange oils and blackberry rounded out by hints of honey and eucalyptus. The taste is oily and smoky — even more so on the palate than the nose — along with touches of figs, orange oils, ginger, clove, and hints of oak in good balance. The finish is long and smooth with a subtle smokiness, oak, soft spices, and a touch of fruits. Excellent! (October, 2014)