Whisky Forum - Johnnie Walker Red Label H2H old v new 50 years apart


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Johnnie Walker Red Label H2H old v new 50 years apart

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lincoln imp
Master Of Malts
Master Of Malts

Joined: 23 Dec 2007
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Location: Lincolnshire England

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:26 am    Post subject: Johnnie Walker Red Label H2H old v new 50 years apart Reply with quote

H2H JW Red Label old version V new, 50 years apart

This is actually a 2020 bottle tried against an old bottling from around 1970 at 70 proof being Red label old Scotch whisky on the label, 70 proof

Firstly compared side by side in small glencairn glass while the colours are similar the 1970 bottle is a shade darker.

Noses compared

2020 40%
very sweet, on honey and lighter coloured fruit gums with a big biscuit note, plenty of cereals which is obviously from grain component plus a hint of menthol.

1970 70 proof
Basically there is more of everything, more complex profile, but there are definitely similarities but this smells a little more substantial.
Honey, biscuit, a little sherry, faint orange and against hint of peat plus some OBE that has welded the flavours together more, multiple layered.


2020 43%
very creamy and really sweet with some peat adding a little focus and a decent spice note, perhaps a little finger but the spice is softer than ginger.
There is some really nice fruit , apple, pear, mango and maybe a little succulent peach as the liquid is almost syruppy the type of syrup you get in tinned peaches.
It is a simple profile but it works and has good balance.

1970 70 proof
This heavier on the palate, a fatter whisky, than the 2020.
This is still on the sweet side but not as syrupy sweet as the new bottling.
There is some peat mixing with a nice spice note, mango and pick lady apples and a little marshmallow and with the grain there is a cream note and the faintest hint of coconut and a touch of vanilla.
There is also a little honey and caramel.


2020 43%
reasonable length, remaining sweet with the honey and a little peat staying until the end, not harsh or anything just simply pleasant.

1970 70 proof
Remaining composed, sweet with a nice spice angle to the finish that makes your tongue tingle


I like this new one, it is just a little too sweet to be a session whisky, I could not drink too much of it in one go.
The 1970 even though it is 50 years older shared many of it's characteristics of it's new sibling but is more rounded with more complexity, basically a heavier whisky with more going on as the sweetness is not the overriding feature like the 2020.

I think JW Red is unfairly derided as a bad whisky which is unfair, it is easy to knock it, which is undeserved.
This bottle page is for a 2013 bottle , maybe jw improved it 7 years later?

I scored the 1970 85/86/826 for 86 points average & 2020 82/83/82 for 82 points average
Pour me a glass please.
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