How It’s Made: Johnnie Walker Black Label
Ever wonder how blended Scotch whisky is made? Well tomorrow I get the opportunity to find out firsthand by blending my own. Johnnie Walker sent this awesome kit (see right, click for large version) full of single malt and grain whiskeys, and during an hour-long session we’ll be blending our own Black Label under the tutelage of the company’s master distillers.
We’re blending this afternoon. Will report back when we’re finished and let you know how my whisky turned out!
UPDATE: Wow, that was fun and informative, and getting to taste six different malt whiskys from six different parts of Scotland (plus a grain whisky), side by side, was quite eye-opening. Real Black Label is blended from about 40 different whiskys, but even working with these seven to concoct my own spirit.
The blend I eventually used looks like this:
25% grain whisky
10% Lowland malt
10% Speyside malt
20% sherry cask malt
25% Highland malt
10% island malt
I skipped adding the heavily peaty Islay malt for my blend. Results? Perfectly palatable but surprisingly light considering how much Highland and sherry cask malt made up the blend. Typical blended whiskys have more than 50% grain whisky in the mix, but frankly I could have done with none at all.
Thanks to Johnnie Walker for an extremely informative, fun, and — as you can see from the photo below — involved experience.