I absolutely love what Scotch distillers are up to these days. Apart from all the usual geographical differences, grain and weather variations, different water sources, and of course, various methods of distillation and peat smoking and filtration, those wily Scots have upped the ante.

Some are aging spirits close to the ocean to give them a bit of a salty flavor. They are experimenting with different casks, from first fill casks, to ex-rye and ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks, to get more and ever unique flavor profiles. They are making available more and more single malts, while crafting even tastier blends. It just seems there is unlimited potential in this already delightful spirit.

Johnnie Walker Select Casks - Rye Cask Finish

And today, we get to try Johnnie Walker’s Select Cask, Rye Cask Finish 10 year old blended Scotch. Boy, that’s a mouthful just saying what it is! And speaking of a mouthful, let’s get a taste. This blend starts with Cardhu single malt at its heart and then other 10 year old scotches are added that have aged in first-fill American Oak casks. This blend is then further aged in ex-rye whiskey casks.

The nose is a mellow oaky mélange of peat, with a hint of smoke, rye, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla. The palate is peppery, smoky and oaky, with malt and citrus and rye bringing up the tail end of these flavors. The finish is sweet and smoky and peppery leaving behind a spicy feel in the throat that lasts a medium amount of time. This is an interesting Scotch in that it evenly combines numerous aromas and flavors in a perfectly layered approach that is light, bright, smoky and spicy yet not overly complicated and quite enjoyable. I do believe the rye brings another dimension to this Scotch, and it is utilized lightly yet makes quite the impression. Looks like another hit from Johnnie Walker.

This Johnnie Walker Select Cask Rye Cask Finish scotch is 92 proof or 46% ABV and can be found for around $45.00 to $57.99 per 750ML bottle.


By George Brozowski