The Johnnie Walker Blender‘s Batch 10 Year Old smells nice, like being in your grandmother’s shop where she turns elm-wood vases for the tulips she sells at her farmstand. The shop is framed in copperwood, which is neither copper, nor wood, nor real. But evocative, I hope. There’s a hint of butter, like the desire to sauté green peppers and ramps (Alium ursinum) in a cast iron pan—your grandmother’s, naturally—while provocatively, yet firmly, whispering “butter” over them, rather than adding butter or oil. A sprig of rosemary and a dab of rabbit, too, and the scent of butterscotch suckers that young kids think they’re successfully hiding in their sweaty, clenched fists. Stephen got mango rubbing oil for use on Louis Quatorze furniture, because of course he did.
On the mouth, it’s peppery and hotter than one might imagine. It’s also smooth and rich—we all wondered if a goodly dollop of Clynelish was mixed in. (If so, we’ll accept accolades. If not, we’ll continue to maintain that we’re Impostors, thankyouverymuch.) It’s dialed down, like 70s soft rock with high production values. We got also the leather (buckskin) cushion used as the north wall on a child’s living room fort. Super light spice, mace, mayhaps, and gallumping geysers of vanilla lurking around the edges like ambulance-chasing lawyers pulling out business cards at the scene of an accident. Stephen and John both got an adult reboot to Frog and Toad are Friends, tentatively entitled Frog and Toad Get Plastered with Monkfish Under the Radar and Off the Grid.
The finish is approachable, cute, energetic, generous, and spunky like a purr-monster cat just emerging from kittenhood. Mee-ow! After the heat-blast, there’s a small tongue crater of lingering peppercorns and bay leaves. The crazy mixture of grains in the mashbill led us to wonder if this is where the corn makes its bow: After the encore, before the final curtain drop. This is a whisky that could convert Bourbon drinkers to Scotch.
–On the scale of American ideas picked up and repurposed in Great Britain–
The Johnnie Walker Blender’s Batch 10 Year Old is Blues Clues with Kevin, instead of Steve–I might be misremembering, but Kevin had a Cockney accent which was kinda crazy. Or, from an adult perspective, this is Poppy Von Wonkle or Pimply Vin Wrinkled. Pappy Van Wanker? Something like that—
–Our thanks to Diageo for the sample!