Aged: No age statement
Product of: United Kingdom
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This 2016 Edition is the third in the John Walker & Sons Private Collection, designed to showcase innovative maturation experiments and the craft behind Johnnie Walker scotch whiskies. Master Blender, Jim Beveridge selected rare and experimental casks to create a predominantly grain based honeyed...
whiskey “with just enough Highland malt to lift it.”
Revealed on 2nd December 2015 for release in 2016, the John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2016 Edition was blended from over 100 different experimental casks of whisky and is limited to 8,888 individually numbered decanters worldwide. Best described as honeyed in style, it does not carry an age statement and follows the fruity 2015 Edition and the smoky 2014 Edition Private Collection releases.
Jim Beveridge has described the Private Collection as “a series of flavour studies” and unlike Johnnie Walker blends where the blenders are restricted by a need for future continuity, this series enables the use of very special irreplaceable finite stocks, including from Diageo’s ‘Calculus’ trial.
Back in the early 80s, Calculus was established to test the effects of maturation with hundreds of experimental casks laid down with five casks representing each permutation of wood and style of distillate available from the company’s large number of distilleries. Although the trial quickly showed results which affect Diageo’s cask management policies to this day, the casks were left forgotten for years. Over 30 years on the Calculus casks contain some of the most exceptional whiskies held by Diageo.
Talking about the 2016 release, Jim said “We couldn’t have achieved the soft sweetness and sophistication of the John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2016 Edition without the incredible access we have to rare casks of single grain Scotch whiskies and our experimental stock. We chose samples from over 100 casks to experiment with at the blending table, and it was wonderful work with the many subtle variations of grain whisky flavours and such a refined Highland single malt to marry into this elegant expression of fine honeyed notes.”
Review and Tasting
Sampled on 02/12/2015
Clear, golden amber.
Faint dungy notes before buttery toast, honey, vanilla and corn-on-the-cob.
Light-bodied and beautifully balanced with buttery vanilla and elegant layers of spice. Velvety mouthfeel but with power and intensity of flavour.
Relatively short finish with buttery vanilla and light oak spice.
Having sampled the vattings of grain whiskies and the Highland malt that that comprise this fabulous predominantly grain whisky, I can appreciate the fine balance Jim Beveridge has achieved with the apple, pear, grassy and faintly anise notes from the malt lifting the two grain whiskies that comprise this blend – one being honeyed with sweet caramel, toffee, estery fruit, vanilla fudge and delicate spice; the other having sweet honey, cigarette ash and white pepper spice notes. As always where Jim’s involved, the result being better than the sum of its parts.