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Club: Los Angeles

The Blends of the Upper Class

June 1, 2019 @ 5:00 pm


The Scotch Aerie
Baldwin Hills, 90008 + Google Map
Title for The Whisky: The Blends
1: Johnnie Walker Excelsior
2: Johnnie Walker King George V
3: Johnnie Walker Private Collection 2015
4: Johnnie Walker Blue
5: Black Bull 30
6: Black Bull 40 Batch 1
7: Royal Salute 21
8: Royal Salute Stone of Destiny 38

Why.  I.  Never!

The twits of the upper class are perturbed.  High End blends have traditionally been a mainstay of the shelves of those with more money than sense.  They are the folks that will judge a whisky by the bottle it’s in. The gaudier the better.  They don’t really like drinking scotch, but they like the idea that they like to drink scotch.  Many of these blends are made “smooth”, so as not to disturb the drinker with scotch that may taste too much like scotch.  We, here in the LA Scotch Club scoff at them.  We NEVER buy them.

But you have to admit, you’re curious, aren’t you?

Sure, we’ve seen them in the glass cases at duty free… lurking in crystal splendor above a thousand dollar price tag.  You’d never buy a bottle of course, but you’d like to try a sip, wouldn’t you?  Just for scientific purposes and all that, right?

The LA (Blended) Scotch Club has gone and collected, well, around $5000 of top shelf blended gems from three different brands.  And these are bottles we think may be worth your time.

Johnnie Walker

How could we not?  The reigning whisky sales champ sells millions of bottles to watering holes all over the world, but they also have rare limited editions in packaging fit for a queen with prices also fit for a queen.

Johnnie Walker Excelsior – This bottle was released in 1997 and claims to be made of whisky of around 50 years old (make what you will of that.)  If so, then this whisky was distilled in the ’40s and ’50s.  Approx. value – $1000

Johnnie Walker King George V – This top shelf liquor store mainstay is that first step beyond Johnnie Blue.  Approx. value – $500

Johnnie Walker Private Collection 2015 – Like the Excelsior, this limited edition is no longer made. Master Blender Jim Beveridge handpicked 29 casks from experimental stocks to create this blend.  The 2015 edition was made to emphasize the ‘fruitiness’ of Speysides.  Approx. value – $850

Johnnie Walker Blue – 1.75L – No good whisky tasting is complete without a little heresy.  Since Johnnie Blue doesn’t quite meet the lofty bar set for this event, we are going to make a cocktail out of it.  Yes, you read that correctly, a Johnnie Blue cocktail with this comically large 1.75L bottle.  Approx. value – $400 (1.75L)

Black Bull (Duncan Taylor)

We know Duncan Taylor best from their Dimensions and Battlehill series that lead whisky proselytizer Peter Currie has shared with the club.  He’s occasionally slipped in a few tastes of the intro level Black Bull bottles.  We’re going to look at the other end of the lineup however.

Black Bull 30 – One of my favorite blends ever.  This blend is from primarily sherry casks and can go toe-to-toe with almost any malt in the world.  Sadly, it is a relic of the past and you can only find it in auctions now.  Approx. value – $250

Black Bull 40 Batch 1 – This is the original batch that began the Black Bull series ten years ago.  You can spend over a thousand dollars for the newer batches, but you can only find this one with luck or a time machine.  Approx. value – $1200

Royal Salute

I love the Chivas Brothers Royal Salute series.  It’s flavorful and pleasant.  It has some of the easiest sippers on the planet and is the baby of Master Blender Colin Scott, perhaps one of the nicest people on the planet.

Royal Salute 21 – While it’s lower pricetag doesn’t quite match that of the rest of the lineup, the whisky does.  Approx. value – $180

Royal Salute Stone of Destiny 38 – Now we’re talking.  This blend prompted me to shake Master Blender Colin Scott’s hand and thank him from the bottom of my heart.  There were no tears, but my eyes did get a little watery.

Pours will be 1/2 oz, except for the Royal Salute 21 (1 oz) and 2 oz of Johnnie Blue in the cocktails.

Tickets are $95 or $55 for half-sized pours (except the cocktail)

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