Thursday, October 26, 2023

Review: Johnnie Blonde

Color (5%):  Very light, faint gold, no brown whatsoever. Faint greenish young hay hues. 3/5

Nose (10%): Lots of sweetness and fruitiness. Raspberries, crisp red apples, sweet corn/caramel corn. There is a bit of a young alcohol note, a bit sharp. 7/10

Palate (20%): Not as much red fruit on the palate as on the nose. There's more crispness of apple and pear. There's a faint, bready caramel pastry note coming through. Kind of crackery, bready overall, with some notes of red fruit. 16/20

Finish (10%): A soft finish. The wheated nature comes through here, making it fairly easy to session. Apple and pear carry through that malic acid is prevalent, which is rare in Scottish whiskey. Alcohol burn lingers longer than the flavor. Reminds me of a young bourbon, and I don't care for either. 5/10

Overall Impression and Harmony (30%): This is a little rough. There's a note of cardboard and cheap chewy crackers. There is some nice fruitiness, which might shine with some ice and soda water, but neat, this isn't exemplary. It's an experiment at best, and I don't mind a fruity scotch when talking about a port or sherry finish. But this is young and underdeveloped. I'm curious about mixing it, but this does not hold up in the neat scotch market.  18/30

Retry on Ice (25%): The alcohol burn is still here. The raw, crisp apple shifts into a bit more softened baked apple. A bit more citrus character comes in. improved certainly. This is not a sipping scotch, but it could be mixed up in a way that does it justice. On its own, with assistance and supplement, this is better.   20/25

Total Ranking: 87% Legendary, AmazingGreatGood, Fair, Average, Tolerable, Swill

Estimated Fair Price: $40
Actual Price: $25

Conclusion: The name Johnnie Blonde makes some sense here. It matches the hue of the whiskey and how unaged this "scotch" is. Making a budget scotch is tricky, and this tries to reinvent the notion of what scotch can be with the incorporation of wheat and that extra fruit character. This is not a well scotch. It's fine. It's not great, even for the money. 

Fact Sheet:
ABV: 40%

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