New from Casa de Walker is the limited edition Triple Grain American Oak. It’s the third entry in the Johnnie Walker’s experimental Blender’s Batch series, and first released here in the U.S. The Triple Grain American Oak (TGAO) is made up of three grain whiskies (wheat, barley, and corn) including some from Port Dundas, and two malt whiskies from the Cardu and Mortlach distilleries. The whiskies here are at least 10 years old, and have matured in American oak casks.
This blend is said to be inspired by Master Blender Jim Beveridge’s interest in American whiskies. The last new Johnnie Walker expression I tried, Select Casks Rye Cask Finish, also tried to cater to the American whiskey drinker. I really enjoyed that blend. I’d love to see rye whiskey barrels used more in Scotland. Johnnie Walker TGAO is bottled at 41.3% abv and can be found for about $30 a bottle, while supplies last.
Information from the brand suggests it was designed to be a mixer in cocktails, but it’s really nice on its own. On the nose, I pick up – no smoke! A rare deviation for Johnnie Walker. Instead we get candied fruit, vanilla, caramel and a light floral note. The palate is creamy, and combined with the vanilla on entry comes across as vanilla pudding. Some caramel apple and spice follow, with hints of buttered wheat toast and very, very light whisp of wood smoke (maybe I’m imagining). The finish is short and clean – sweet grain with just a touch of spice.
Add this to my list of Scotch whiskies for bourbon drinkers to try. Sweet fruit and vanilla are the stars here, and are two notes usually found in bourbon. There’s virtually zero peat here, which I know seems to turn off a lot people thinking of getting into Scotch. I have to reiterate that Johnnie Walker Blender’s Batch Triple American Oak is a one-time release and very well priced for what it delivers. 8.5/10
Thanks to Diageo for the sample! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.