Johnnie Walker Red Label, today, is a bottom of the line Diageo blend that is made for mixing into cocktails.
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state of New York, behind New York City, Buffalo, and Rochester.
The mid palate and finish, while fine, don't play at that level.
But heck, this was (and is) the entry level expression.
I'm sure the 86.8 proof helps a bit over the 80 proof that started in the 90s - but it can't explain all or even the lions's share of the differences. Oliver Klimek did a Red Label vertical covering this period and comes to many of the same conclusions: Ralfy Mitchell performs this exact same tasting and comparison with more wit, verve, and humor than I could dream of - with the high wire act of a live performance.
I'll reserve my conclusions for the full vertical of Johnnie Walker Red from the 1930s to today coming up in the weeks or months ahead. He comes with the same conclusions flavor-wise, but attributes the changes to the use of glut stocks and to extended marrying time in the bottle: https://It's rich and yet soft and easy drinking - compulsively, dangerously, easy to drink.At no point does this call out the imperative to be mixed into a cocktail. The grain whisky component is readily detected - but it plays along in a really nice way with the malt. The star of the show is the rich honeyed floral nose and the presence of those flavors in the opening.I have managed to get my hands on a number of samples of Johnnie Walker Red Label which occupy a range of periods from the 1930s through today. I started the tasting dead in the middle with a bottle that dates from the late 1960s to the late 1970s (I'm not certain which). Ads from 1966 and earlier show the importer as "Canada Dry Corporation" not Somerset Importers LTD.Even earlier ads have different label details and start having cork closure.Major shopping areas are located in Getty Square, on South Broadway, at the Cross County Shopping Center and Westchester's Ridge Hill, and along Central Park Avenue, informally called "Central Ave" by area residents, a name it takes officially a few miles north in White Plains.