Smoke is a deeply misunderstood flavour, both in whisky and in cocktails. Here, we consider the elements of this great entity, how it’s imparted to Johnnie Walker whiskies and how to best use it in cocktails at your bar.
To best illustrate the influence of smoke through whisky, and then whisky cocktails, we’ll be focusing on the world’s most loved Scotch whisky, Johnnie Walker Black Label.
CRAFTING WHISKY WITH FLARE
Johnnie Walker has access to the largest reserves of maturing Scotch whisky in the world, well over 10 million casks and this diversity of selection allow for Johnnie Walker to select whiskies from the four corners of Scotland.
Drawing from this extensive selection handpicked from across the four corners – the Highlands, the Islands, Lowlands and Speyside – allows Johnnie Walker to deliver unparalleled complexity and a flavour profile which is truly expressive of the land of its origin.
Today, continuing John Walker’s famous legacy is the team of Whisky Masters based in Scotland. A small team of 12 led by Master Blender and one of the whisky industry’s most respected figures, Jim Beveridge.
BY THE SMELL OF THE SMOKE
The role of the Whisky Masters is so much more than just blending the Johnnie Walker range. They approach their blends not as a fixed recipe, but as a flavour profile and blending whisky is all about balance.
Johnnie Walker Black Label is a blend of over 30 different malt and grain whiskies and when that many components are blended together, they must unite seamlessly. There can be no rough edges, no dominating flavours – all elements must be in perfect harmony.