Johnnie Walker Explorers Club – The Spice Road

I’m not really a fan of Johnnie Walker.  I’ve always found it rather characterless. Not to say it’s not smooth and well blended, I can appreciate it in that way. 

Maybe its smoothness and inoffensive nature is its character, but safe to say I’ve never really been a big fan.

Its very much like a modern day sporting superstar. Always looking good in the public eye, never really having any controversial moments or opinions, always saying the right things. A nice clean image that sponsors love. It just means that they don’t really have much of a personality, a walking, talking, sponsored, characterless automaton.

Johnnie Walker is like the Lewis Hamilton of whiskies. Inoffensive but yet somewhat devoid of personality or character.

Lewis Hamilton. Dull.

Let’s just say I prefer my whiskies a bit more James Hunt. 

James Hunt. Not dull.
Like or loathe at least there is an opinion formed somewhere, rather than complete ambivalence.

During a recent sample swap I noticed that this was available. Its one of the whiskies I have yet to try in my ‘101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die’ book so I thought I would take a chance, try it and get it scored off my list. I have previously tried Black Label, Double Black and Blue label. I cant really remember them well enough to directly compare this one side by side so I’ll just note it as it is.

Johnnie Walker Explorers Club Collection – The Spice Road, 40%abv, OB


On the nose it is vanilla, butterscotch, caramel and coconut. Very smooth and quite sweet. The palate has a very buttery and smooth mouthfeel with a slight savoury and spice note underneath.

There is a definite hint of dark fruits here, raisins, orange and a faint sherry-like note. 

The finish is short, smooth and isn’t really any different than  you might expect, a continuation of the buttery and vanilla laden palate with the addition of some drying spice.

I do however prefer this to what I remember of the Black Label. 

Very smooth and drinkable, if a little characterless. 

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