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Drink Review: John Walker & Sons King George V

A special extension of the Johnnie Walker range, King George V celebrates the first Royal Warrant granted to John Walker and Sons Ltd to supply Scotch whisky to the British Royal Household in 1934, and is apparently designed to recreate how JW might have tasted back in the day. Some Port Ellen has been used, alongside Cardhu, Lochnagar and some very old grain whisky.

Johnnie Walker King George V Review:

Deep and rich, made from an old wheat grain and a reservoir, both of which have the same colouring properties. The core is a rich golden amber.

Nose: Full-bodied and strong. Mix of old whiskies, honey, malt, vanilla and wood. The nose has a lot more depth and isn’t too masculine or hot like some “peaty” noses can be. It becomes a little floral after a while with a slight aroma of honey and the like, which is probably from the Port Ellen/Cardhu combo. It ends slightly dry and has a nice, strong kick of smokiness.

Mouth: Strong peppery note and of an earthy character. Grows in strength, with a honeyed aftertaste. This is a full-bodied, peppery dram, with a vigourous maltiness and a slight tequila-like edge. A lot of honey and vanilla in the body, with a signature rich amber colour, making the drink look like a Grants while it warms.

Finish: Long finish, softly sweetened with a little wood towards the end. It’s not hugely complex and not particularly complex at all, but it’s still a good finishing taste.

A decent one, but with few surprises and quite a simple nose it’s hardly going to wow anybody.

Johnnie Walker King George V Review 1:

I absolutely positively love Johnnie Walker, I love it, I love it, I love it.

The nose is pleasant and fun, but the whisky is a mild. The finish was good.

I got what I  was expected. Highly recommended.

Nose: The spirit is not quite what we expected. A mixture of smoky, sweet grain and vanilla, with a light floral element. There’s no distinctive scent of port at all, which implies no use of it for this single malt.

Palate: Mellow and sweet on the tongue. A slow, subtle pace, with an oaky character on the finish.

Score: A soft whisky, but nice all the same. Not at all what we expected from a whisky named after the first warrant we got from the Royal Household.

Johnnie Walker King George V Review 2:

Nose: The noses are almost completely different in taste. The Speyside is very oaky, with a depth and complexity one might associate with Port Ellen. The King George V is much more like a blend, and a very good one at that. A sweet maltiness that doesn’t let go, with a hit of fruitiness.

Palate: Softer than the Speyside nose anticipated, but this doesn’t mean the whisky is unappealing. There’s a spicy oakiness running through, and a pleasant balance from the malt and the oak. Also a light whisky sweetness, which makes the difference an easy choice, and a little fruity finish.

Finish: No harshness at all, and a little fruity.

Johnnie Walker King George V Review 3:

Nose: Medium. A grassy aroma, with a touch of dried wood and a little smoke.

Palate: Medium. A little sweetness, and a touch of oaky smoothness on the tongue.

Finish: Softer than the nose, but pleasant nonetheless. A good finish.

Score: A medium whisky is not what one expects from Johnnie Walker, but I admit this has the potential to be very nice. I’m hoping for a blend with a little more oakyness and just a little less sweetness, but this is a big step forward from a couple of other blends out there. It’s very comfortable to drink, and I feel this is a blend that anyone can pick up and relax with. I’ll put my two pounds into it.

Johnnie Walker King George V Review 4:

A 2005 single malt that keeps its oaky character, but shows a delicate whiff of sweetness. The barley doesn’t lose its grassy character either. I’d say the aromas more reflect a Speyside than a Scottish Speyside. That said, it is quite enjoyable, though it is not the most interesting of the JW blends.

Nose: An oaky burst is the first thing you notice, but then fruity cake emerges too. I could say this is a light whisky, but I’d be incorrect. It rather smells like a low-scoring blend, not something that has really been aged in oak casks, except that it doesn’t hide that as well as most blends do.

Palate: The experience is identical to the nose. A smoothness, some fruitiness, and little oakiness. Still pleasant enough though.

Johnnie Walker King George V Review 5:

Nose: Very light, with a woody character and a little peat. Not the most complex of aromas.

Palate: The signature of JW, and nothing more. A light version of the blend. A little sweet, a little smokey, and a little woody. Result: A good whisky, but not really at the top of the blend chart. A little light, but it doesn’t mean it’s bad.

Johnnie Walker King George V Review 6:

Nose: A soft floral aroma, with a gentle powdery quality. A little vanilla and honey, with some smoke on the back.

Palate: A light mouth feeling, very fresh. A little sweetness, but to the same degree of freshness. The sweet feeling seems to be mellowed by some woodiness, with a slightly musty taste. Overall it’s very balanced.

Finish: A nice soft feel, with a gentle sweetness, and a touch of wood. Not particularly complex, but sure enough.

Score: A good one, but not great. I guess it would be a little better in a couple of years.

Johnnie Walker King George V Review 7:

Nose: Very light and soft. Very little is smoky, with a slight sweetness and a little woody note.

Palate: A light whisky, sweet and smooth on the tongue. A touch of honey, with a slight spicy woodiness. There’s a little bit of roughness, and a grainy edge.

Finish: A gentle end, a little bit woody, but not tannic. A pleasant one.

Score: A good whisky, but I feel that the standard blends are more interesting.

Johnnie Walker King George V Review 8:

Nose: A very nice, soft aroma indeed. Cool I would say, in a floral and apricot-like way.

Palate: A good light mouth feel, with a nice honey quality and some sweet pastry which adds a nice touch to the overall flavour.

Finish: A good soft finish, with a sweet quality. Long and smooth.

Score: A good one, though it’s not too complex. It’s perfect for a nice night in.

Johnnie Walker King George V Review 9:

Nose: A soft and sweet aroma to begin with, with a very slight fruity note. A little honey, a little wood, and something very light like flowers.

Palate: A very delicate but very long finish. A little sweetness, soft and light.

Finish: Medium.

Score: A good one. It’s no score maker, but it’s ok.

Written by Mark Adams

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