Scotch Wars: Johnny Walker Black vs The Glenrothes Select Reserve

4 Sep

James is gradually trying to figure out which is his favourite scotch whisky. He’s gone through about 5 bottles already, and when he gets a new scotch and likes it, he’s not sure how it compares against his existing favourite scotch.

Enter … Scotch Wars!

I’m quite proud of the idea because I came up with it. We are starting afresh, and I bought James two bottles of scotch.  He did a side by side comparison of the two, and determined which was his favourite. The plan is to not finish off the winner – and when the loser has been emptied, it gets replaced with a new bottle of untried scotch to once again be compared side by side with the existing favourite.

If the favourite gets emptied, we can just rebuy it – if it has survived a few wars James obviously likes it and and it won’t go to waste even if it gets beaten by a new contender.

The first scotch war was Johnny Walker Black Label versus The Glenrothes Select Reserve scotch whisky.

Johnny Walker Black Label Scotch Whisky ($37.45)

I picked this one up because it came with a cool black tin, and James likes to use them for storing computer cables. James was originally a bit wary because he considers the red label Johnny Walker to be undrinkable. He said this one was good but plain and kind of unremarkable. He found it more “soothing” and “warming” than the Glenrothes, but thought the Glenrothes was more interesting.

The Glenrothes Select Reserve Scotch Whisky ($69.99)

I chose it because I liked the bottle it came in. I’m a little bitter because it turns out that for the same price I could have gotten the same size bottle with two whisky glasses. Grr. But anyway, James described this one as fruity, and tasting “lighter” than the Johnny Walker, like the difference between a white wine and a red wine. He said he would drink this one in smaller quantities because it is quite sweet.

The Winner

Taste-wise the Glenrothes won, but it wasn’t a decisive victory. James said if he had to choose one to drink it would be the Glenrothes, but if he had to choose one to buy it would be the Johnny Walker because he didn’t think the Glenrothes was worth the price (at least I got a cool bottle out of it though!).

Once James finishes the Johnny Walker Black Label, the next scotch up will be the Glenfiddich 12 year old Single Malt, which is the favourite of all the scotches he’s tried so far.


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