John Walker & Sons, the prestige range from Johnnie Walker has released the John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2017 Edition by Master Blender Jim Beveridge. This edition is the fourth in the series with only 5,588 individually numbered decanters available worldwide.
The 2017 Edition, Mastery of Oak, is the first bottle in the series to celebrate the full richness that cask character can bring to Blended Scotch Whiskies and comes in a clear decanter designed to mirror the halo effect of wood.
For the blend, Master Blender Jim Beveridge hand-picked a number of exceptional malt and grain whiskies from American oak casks, refill casks and experimental casks to construct the final blend. They began with active American oak, selecting fine examples of ex-bourbon casks that had contributed an abundance of rich, creamy, toffee and spice notes to Malt & Grain Scotch Whiskies as they matured, together with a handful of whiskies aged in rejuvenated casks for balance and a clove spiciness.
The second vatting used refill casks in their reserves with less active oak for a long, gentle maturation that allowed the distillery character to continue to shine – in this case Highland and Speyside rich fruit distillery character with a mellowness and smoothness brought about by the wood (mostly American oak, some European).
For the third vatting, they turned to special stocks from a study on the creation of flavour through different cask treatments. They chose solely American oak combinations from these experimental casks, particularly new oak that has created an intensity of vanilla sweetness over time and salt cured casks for the wealth of flavours from activating deeper layers of oak.
Master Blender Jim Beveridge describes the whisky as “a sumptuous blend of oak-rich fruit notes”. Below are the official tasting notes:
John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2017 Edition Tasting Notes
- ABV: 46.8%
- Colour: Golden
- Nose: Toffee and vanilla notes hint at the wonderfully complex sweetness from the variety of American oak casks, and mingle with aromas of ripe orchard fruits.
- Palate: American oak toffee and vanilla notes and ripe orchard fruits on the nose, and toffee on the palate too with creamy, spice notes. Mature Highland and Speyside fruit character emerges as blackcurrants and berries, soft peach skin and stewed apples, all mellowed by the oak. A trace of crisp, green apples, a memory of the young distillery character preserved through refill casks, lifts the blend, and the European oak cask effect appears as a touch of leather. Deep, rich vanilla sweetness from the experimental American oak casks on the finish.
- Recommended Serve: Neat, or with a few drops of ice cold water to reveal the subtleties of layer upon layer of flavour.
The John Walker & Sons Private Collection began in 2014 with a unique smoky blend, followed by the The John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015 Edition (rare fruit character) and The John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2016 (fine honeyed notes).
The John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2017 Edition is a limited release of 5,588 individually numbered decanters worldwide. The 2017 Edition is now available at selected liquor stores for a recommended retail price of $995.
This article was originally published on May 4, 2017 on our sister website Gourmantic.