Johnnie Walker 18yo – The old is new

If you’ve read enough pieces, opinions, wisdom – and certainly reviews – on Whisky & Wisdom, you’ll have noticed a subconscious, underlying nostalgic tone occasionally.   When you’ve been enjoying whisky for over twenty years and observed the very significant changes and growth that has occurred in the industry in that time (even in just the last ten years), it’s hard to look at and comment on current whisky affairs without inadvertently glancing backwards to how things once were.

Such observances even pervade one’s thinking when it comes to Johnnie Walker.   Once upon a time, the Johnnie Walker stable was a pretty simple and well-defined house.   Just four simple colours:  Red, Black, Gold, and Blue.   (Yes, there was the occasional sighting of something different (e.g. Swing), and let’s not forget the rumours of the elusive Grey Label that did the rounds back in the mid-2000’s.)

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Glenmorangie 1990 Grand Vintage Malt

It doesn’t seem that long ago that the core-range of many distilleries consisted of a ubiquitous 12yo, followed by an 18yo and a 25yo.  The really daring distilleries would then inject something colourful into the portfolio, such as a vintage release or something with an exotic name.

Glenmorangie is a remarkable distillery for many reasons, but one of its most impressive aspects is its huge and diverse core range.   The humble (yet sensational) Original continues to underpin the line up, but the flavour profile and offerings rapidly then diversify with the likes of the Extra Matured range (Lasanta, Quinta Ruban, and Nectar d’Or), followed by the older age statements – namely the 18yo and 25yo.   The latter two – in particular – were notable for being exceptionally rich and luxurious.

But in today’s whisky world, nothing is constant for too long and there was a touch of sadness when we heard that the Glenmorangie 25yo was effectively being discontinued.  However, any sadness you experience will instantly evaporate once you taste its replacement:  The Glenmorangie 1990 Grand Vintage Malt.

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