Here we are with the first review of 2018. Today’s review is all about the new edition of a highly acclaimed Scotch whisky – Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare is crafted from 8 Scotch Whiskies. The first five of these come from the existing distilleries of Royal Lochnagar, Clynelish, Glenkinchie, Glenlossie and Cameronbridge whereas the remaining are from the silent, hence the name ‘Ghost and Rare’, distilleries of Cambus and Pittyvaich. The legendary distillery of Brora is the final distillery of this edition and forms the heart of this special blend.

Regarding this special release, Jim Beveridge – Johnnie Walker Master Distillery said:

“Over the years of crafting fine Scotch whiskies, I’ve had the remarkable privilege of working with some of the rarest spirits ever to come out of Scotland. I’m lucky that we have stocks from more than 30 distilleries from every region of Scotland from which to choose the perfect casks to craft each blend. It gives us a richness of character, flavour, and age that no other scotch can match.

“Whiskies from these ghost distilleries are becoming increasingly rare. From our library of irreplaceable casks that we keep exclusively for Johnnie Walker Blue Label, I’ve chosen a few uniquely full-bodied expressions of these precious malts and grains to let people explore, in a new way, the extraordinary richness found in our pinnacle whisky.”

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare is a NAS (Non-Age Statement) whisky that comes bottled at 46%. You can get yourself a bottle of this special and limited blend from The Whisky Exchange website.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Whisky Tasting Notes

Color: Radiant copper.

Nose: Complex but easy going nose. Fruit notes of apple, pears and pineapple create a sweet and almost waxy scent. Almonds, hazelnuts covered with caramel and dark chocolate balance the sweetness and bring out the mature side of the expression. Smoke is like a veil, faint and hard to point. A whiff of damp oak and grass from the countryside.

Palate: Full bodied and silky smooth. Warm compote with apples and apricots topped with caramelized sugar. A touch of vanilla. The sweetness transforms into a darker and bitter profile. Dark chocolate bars with toasted nuts and bits of coffee beans. The subtleness of smoke is similar to the nose, lingering all around.

Finish: Long lasting finish with a bitter and woody aftertaste.

From the whisky point of view, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare is a great blended whisky. It offers an easy drinking experience with a complex character. To top that, the blend includes rare whiskies from closed distilleries, among them Brora being the most special one with its legendary status in the world of whisky.

But the real question is; Does this justify the price tag?  That is a hard one to answer. Prices of Brora expressions are at all-time high and reaching to these bottles are becoming harder every day thanks to whisky collectors. So this may be your only chance, at least for the time being, to drink one. On the other hand, keep in mind that no information is available regarding the actual percentage of Brora in the overall blend. In addition, blending with other whiskies rounds the overall profile so all these prevents Brora to really show itself. So the decision is up to you.