Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Dog

Peated Blend — Scotland

5.0 out of 5 stars
This is very different from the normal blue label. This one is bottled at 46% abv instead of the normal 40%. It is sweeter on the palate, has more depth and flavor, and just as smooth as the normal blue label. The normal blue label tastes “watery” compare to this year of the dog edition. I highly recommend this whiskey, it’s truly a unique and worthy dram, and the beautiful artwork on it is a plus!
  • cascode

    I don't mind a drop of JW Blue every now and then (although I've only ever once actually bought a bottle, and that was a 200ml one for a whisky tasting afternoon). It is the Mr Smooth of the blend world, and I think it's fair to say it is a prince amongst blends, however it is overpriced and has a popular reputation as the king of whiskies, which is laughable. I don't doubt that the special releases offer more than the standard 40%abv dram, but the constant flow of special bottlings confirms what @Slainte-Mhath said about it being a status whisky. I think it's primary use is as a very safe gift for your boss / co-worker / family relation who is not a whisky drinker but has something special to celebrate and will recognise the value of the gift. I don't think Diagio would argue with that, as it's obviously their marketing strategy. Personally I'd prefer to pay $250 for a 200ml bottle of the very old Clynelish that they use as the backbone for the blend.

  • Slainte-Mhath

    @whiskeyhead I have no doubts that this bottlings is a step up from the original Blue Label, but my point is that its price is still in no correlation to the quality you get. There are many alternatives which are light years ahead of JW Blue and that for half its price!

  • whiskeyhead

    @LeeEvolved @Slainte-Mhath I agree with you guys. I was not impressed by the regular blue label. Its biggest strength is the smoothness, but it’s almost too “smooth and balanced” that it lost its character. I compare the two side by side, and IMHO, the year of the dog is a major step up. It brings characters and depth to the whiskey, and somehow it makes me appreciate the smoothness of this whiskey more. Cheers ;)

  • Slainte-Mhath

    The main problem with JW Blue is that it's a premium-deluxe whisky made for NON-whisky drinkers who fancy themselves with a certain social status. If you were to spend a $200 on intrinsic quality, you should rather pick a bottle of Springbank 18, Lagavulin 12 Cask Strength, GlenDronach 18 or Bunnahabhain 18, to name but a few. Buying JW Blue is like buying a Louis Vuitton handbag - 2/3 of the money are being paid for the brand, not the intrinsic quality.

  • LeeEvolved

    I agree with @Slainte-Mhath here- Blue Label is for scotch drinkers looking to brag than it is for a seasoned drinker to truly enjoy. It isn’t a bad whisky, per se, but that money can be easily spent elsewhere for better returns. I think people are getting wise to it as well because prices have dropped significantly. I see it can be had for $150 at a lot of places now.

  • Slainte-Mhath

    I still think that JW Blue Label is a waste of money and primarily designed for those with a fat wallet and little knowledge about intrinsic quality of whiskies. Just a one man's opinion, of course :-)

  • whiskeyhead

    @PBMichiganWolverine Year of the dog is retailed at around $258 and the normal blue label is around $234. However, I think you can find one for around $200 now.

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @whiskeyhead out of curiosity, is there a substantial price difference between the two?