I will never forget the first time I tried Johnnie Walker Black Label. I was 22 years old at my college roommate’s 21st birthday party. Some of the guests had brought cupcake brand vodka (which they assumed would taste like cupcakes – it did not) and my roommate struggled to drink any of it. Alcohol was not really her thing.
I sat out on the festivities until her mom pulled out a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label. I gladly accepted a glass and the world of whisky was forever changed. None of my father’s higher end liquor prepared me for just how well blended and smooth Johnnie Walker was. I was in love.
Years later, I am a blogger and a bit of an alcohol enthusiast. I do not drink a lot but when I do drink, I savor it. That is exactly what Johnnie Walker Black Label’s special edition whisky is for: savoring.
As a fan of Blade Runner, I was delighted to see that Johnnie Walker was going to combine two of my favorite things: science fiction and good whisky. Given Johnnie Walker’s prominent place in the original Blade Runner film, it made perfect sense to pair a new blend with the new movie.
This whisky would be Rick Deckard approved.
The whisky itself is warm and a bit dry, offering drinkers a smoky foreground on top of sweeter, sharper flavors lurking just beneath it. The nose was a perfect, complex blend, neither too heavy on the smell of alcohol nor revealing the wonderful smoky surprise that lay in wait. I enjoyed mine over the rocks and, as the ice melted, the blend came together even more for me. It mellowed out.
The whisky is described as “a classic Johnnie Walker Black Label style but with a contemporary twist. A dark, rich, smooth blend, with clouds of smokiness and a touch of femininity.” I would take it a step further and say the alcohol tastes like the world the original Blade Runner is set in feels. I could picture myself standing on the balcony in a futuristic metropolis, breathing in the smoky, clouded air, beneath which the city brimmed with life.
In other words, Johnnie Walker Black Label Director’s Cut is a complex whisky that will give your taste buds a lot to consider. Tonight I paired it with a bold, citrus-y rice skillet and they complimented each other perfectly. Of course if straight-up whisky is not really your thing, Johnnie Walker has helpfully provided a number of cocktails that also aim to capture the mood of the world of Blade Runner.
This is going to be a relatively limited edition run, with 39,000 bottles going out to 15 selected countries around the world while supplies last. At 49% ABV the alcohol packs a punch beneath its smooth flavor and as always, I recommend it be paired with food and that everyone drink responsibly.
The bottle runs for $89.99/750ml, which for the quality is worth it in my opinion. This is something you will be able to sip and savor for weeks and months, well worth the initial investment, and is bound to impress your guests.
So take some time to celebrate Blade Runner 2049, which premieres October 6th, 2017, and enjoy a glass of some very fine whisky, blended with input from Denis Villeneuve himself. It does not get more authentic than that.