Johnnie Walker - The Spice Road (Explorers Club Collection)

Reviewed on Thu 21 Jan, 2016

This blend is exclusively available to travellers through Duty Free stores. I'd leave it there and buy something else.

There is a something that is now, and always has been, exciting about travelling. The discovery of new sights, new smells, new tastes and senses. Even now (and I travel a lot) travel is an exciting and often wonderous prospect. I'm still amazed that 70 tonnes of meat-filled metal sausage can somehow take off and fly through the air.

So it was with this spirit of travel in mind that I bought a bottle of this from duty free on my way to Croatia. You see I don't like JW at all... apart from JW Blue Label which is good but overpriced as all get-out. I don't get the fuss with Black Label either - numerous reviews I have read laud it as the second coming. Bleh. And don't even get me started on the standard Red Label offering!

But hey, I'm feeling adventerous today. A small bottle of this "Spice Road" set me back £9.95 which I figure is cheap enough to try it out and see if the spirit of adventure really is alive in this blend.

On the nose: It smells alright. Still sort of like Red Label, which I'm guessing was the base for this, but there's additional notes of cinnamon, genita root and burnt, toasted white bread.

The taste: There's a honey sweetness to this, along with more of the cinnamon and a little spice. Pretty sure I can taste the caramel in this - whatever that sweet flavour is it tastes artificial. There's not much depth to it at all, regardless of what the JW website alludes to.

The finish: Doesn't hang around long, apart from the sweet aftertaste which again just tastes of toffee / caramel. There's some woodiness to the finish, a bit of burnt oak, but not a lot.

Personally... It is better than JW Red Label, but not by much. I suspect all they did was take Red Label and shove it into a cask with a slightly higher char level. It's not bad, but it's just not very interesting. This is basically the whisky equivalent of being an Accountant.


Nose:  75/100 
Taste:  71/100 
Finish:  71/100 
Personal Rating: 70/100 
Value for Money:  77/100 
Overall Rating:  72.8/100 

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