Johnnie Walker Black Label: The Obvious Yet Ultimate Black Friday Toast

The rumors are true: tomorrow is Turkey Day. And unfortunately, that means that the most frenzied and panic-inducing shopping date on the calendar is soon to follow — Black Friday.

It’s easy to tune out Black Friday in theory, but the reality is that we all eventually need to replace a flat screen TV or invest in that next-gen console. Ultimately, whatever is on your list may never again be as affordable as it will be during those 24 hours of slashed prices and steep competition. So, to those stepping into the Black Friday fray, we want to wish you the best of luck… and direct your attention to Johnnie Walker Black Label.

Sure, Black Friday, Black Label — it’s something of a linguistic lay-up. But there are a multitude of reasons why we recommend Black Label to those wishing to toast a particularly successful shopping day, or simply kick back after returning from the Black Friday barricades.

For starters, Johnnie Walker Black Label might be understood as the polar opposite of Black Friday. Whereas the shopping holiday is characterized by rushed decisions and impulse buys, Johnnie Walker Black Label is the result of a slow, deliberate process that can’t be sped-up.

The single malt and single grain whiskies used to make Johnnie Walker Black Label are sourced from all over Scotland and aged for a minimum of 12 years. For perspective, that means the very youngest whisky in its blend was aging back when the iPhone 3GS was the Black Friday big ticket-item.

However, unlike the trend-driven bargains that dominate Black Friday, Johnnie Walker Black Label is masterfully blended so that its taste profile remains consistent from year to year. It was never intended to be an “it” product for a limited window of time, but rather a dependable pleasure that can be returned to again and again.

In fact, sitting down with a glass of Johnnie Walker Black Label and contemplating how it looks, smells, and tastes is an excellent way to enjoy a dram during the craze of the holiday season. So, grab your favorite glass, block off at least a half hour of your time, and find a favorite place to sit and discover the flavor journey of Johnnie Walker Black Label.

To begin, simply contemplate its color: would you consider it to be copper, caramel, bronze, or something different? If you’re still switching through color possibilities in your head, it might be useful to hold the glass over a piece of blank white paper, which provides something of a blank canvas against which to consider the whisky’s true hue.

Afterward, contemplate the whisky’s aromatics. It’s easier to sense its olfactory possibilities if the whisky has been poured into a traditional tasting glass, with a bulbous bottom and tapered mouth designed to help direct aromatics to the nose. A rocks glass will get the job done as well. To obtain a proper sniff, position your nose by the rim of the glass, but be careful not to tip it over the edge — doing so would place your nostrils too close to the alcohol, risking nasal burnout. Vitally, you should also leave your mouth open, which will improve your perception of the aromas.

Once these factors are met, take a good sniff and think about what your senses are receiving. Sometimes it starts with a single note, which may lead to similar associations and begin a thread of interwoven aromatics. While everyone’s sense of smell — and memories associated with smell — will make the experience different, some of the most commonly picked up notes in Johnnie Walker Black Label are rich and tropical dark fruits with touches of sweet vanilla.

While we certainly understand the inclination to get right at the whisky, you never want to rush the experience of sussing out its aromatics. What you taste on the palate is often influenced by your olfactory observations beforehand, so you’ll want to pause and explore those aromatic threads to see how they shape the whisky’s flavor on the palate.

Start with a small, single sip to season the palate. Afterward, go for another sip that can coat all parts of the mouth, including the tongue and the roof. You’ll encounter different flavors and textures depending on what parts of the palate the whisky is touching (and at what time), but classic Johnnie Walker Black Label flavors include rich vanilla from aging in oak and creamy toffee, courtesy of its grains.

Finally, the finish delivers a wisp of smooth, warming smoke that’s worthy of contemplation. Of course, it doesn’t really matter where you’re enjoying the transportive qualities of Johnnie Walker Black Label, or on what day. What’s important is that you put in the time to slow down, contemplate, and fully enjoy the whisky.

This article is sponsored by Johnnie Walker.