Diageo continues to honor the women in its past and present — or, at least, it’s been trying to.
This special edition of Johnnie Walker — dubbed Jane Walker — is probably the most visible of its recent releases. The astute drinker may recall another “Jane Walker” release, which was just Johnnie Walker Black Label in a feminized bottle. That perhaps ill-advised release is still around — with a black label and 12 year old age statement, but this release — sometimes billed as “Jane Walker 2.0” — is an entirely different whisky.
The new Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker limited edition blend heroes whisky from Cardhu — a nearly 200-year-old distillery in the heart of Speyside that flourished under the leadership of Elizabeth Cumming. This pioneering woman ultimately sold Cardhu to the Walker family in 1893, but played a significant role in the brand’s history. Now, with access to more than ten million casks of maturing whisky from distilleries across Scotland, [Master Blender] Emma Walker carries forward this tradition.
The blend carries a 10 year old age statement.
The whisky hits the glass with an appealing shade of amber. Lightly malty but with a distinctively fruity nose, showcasing baked apples and gingerbread, with secondary notes of crushed almonds and pie crust. Sweet-smelling but not at all overwhelming, the whisky finds an ever so slight floral touch.
On the palate, the whisky follows the theme set by the nose, though it’s a bit nuttier on the tongue, offering an element of Almond Roca candy, brown butter, and a clearer gingerbread note — emphasis on the bread. There’s still a ton of fruit here, with apples and some apricot notes dominating, with a well-spiced malt note lingering on the finish. A hint of red wine gives the conclusion a unique and engaging pop of flavor. Lovely stuff, especially at this price.