Johnnie Walker Platinum Label is one of the brand’s newer permanent blends. It’s inspired by the company’s tradition of creating exclusive blends for private gatherings. Carrying an 18 year old age statement, this blended whisky replaces the former JW Gold Label 18 year in the lineup, and is positioned as a more premium offering than the current Gold Label Reserve. After all, platinum is more valuable than gold. A press release from Diageo, owner of the Johnnie Walker brand, states that the whiskies that constitute this blend are drawn from casks from between 20 and 25 distilleries. Bottled at 40% abv, JW Platinum sits right under older brother Blue Label in terms of price with an SRP of $110.
Before we get to the tasting notes, I want to mention the packaging. Diageo really pays attention to how the bottle is going to look on store shelves. This bottle begins with the famous Johnnie Walker square bottle and adds some sharp looking lines that cut through the front of the bottle, giving it a tapered, slimmer look. Judging only by its appearance, Johnnie Walker Platinum Label looks expensive and exclusive, which is what the company is pushing for. Johnnie Walker is usually accompanied by a thin cardboard box. That won’t do here. What we have is a thick, heavy-duty cardboard box with a locking plastic top. For presentation alone, I’d give this a 9.5 out of 10. But, we’re not judging the presentation here. It’s all about what’s inside the bottle.
The nose on this starts sweet with creamy toffee, honey, and light fruit (think cherries, apricot and honeydew melon). Past that I get smoke and faint citrus. Taste-wise, there are bold flavors here – honey, bittersweet dark chocolate, citrus, smoke and nuts. It finishes with sweet fruit and charred smoke.
JW Platinum the most robust of the Johnnie Walker lineup. I’m not obsessed with age statements on whisky, but it’s nice to see one on this bottle. There’s no young fiery whisky here. It’s fruit and smoke forward, which I think works really well. I do wish this were slightly higher in proof. It would make this whisky that much better, as alcohol is a flavor carrier. That said, I really like this blend. Recommended.