Trying Johnnie Walker Explorer’s Club The Spice Road [Whiskey Wednesday]
In stark contrast to the handful of single malt whiskies from Islay I discussed last week comes this week’s whiskey. Having gone on a cruise recently, there were three Johnnie Walker blended Scotch whiskies that seemed interesting to me, largely because one could not purchase them in a liquor store. Part of their Explorers’ Club Collection, The Spice Road is the least expensive of the three. The other two seemed quite pricey, while The Spice Road seemed quite affordable, being less than $50 (it also helped that it was tax free and duty free).
The worker in the store said it reminded him of Johnnie Walker Double Black, which I have had before and enjoyed due to its smokiness. However, when I tasted this whiskey, it was clear that the worker was clearly confused. This whiskey bears little resemblance to the Double Black.
On the nose, it seems sweet and oakey, almost like a bourbon, although somewhat subdued. When it arrives onto palate, it seems somewhat smooth, although not silky smooth. There is a lot of oakeyness to it! While on the palate, its spiceyness picks up and is strong not only on the latter part of the palate, but continues on through the finish, with a strong taste of oakiness.
To me, this is wildly different from a peatey/smokey Scotch (like the Double Black, for instance) and can actually be pretty comfortable of a Scotch for Bourbon-drinkers. It has a bit of sweetness, solid oakeyness, and really strong spiciness. Overall, it’s a great bang for one’s buck, considering that it was less than $50 for a one-liter bottle.