The higher ABV delivers the flavors and showcases the complexities very well. Fantastic balance between fruit, sweets, and smoke.
Is it too much to ask that a $100 whisky tells me whether or not it is chill filtered and caramel colored?
I should preface this review by mentioning that in addition to being a whisky enthusiast, I’m a filmmaker with a love for great movies. Blade Runner 2049 was one of my favorite films of 2017, and regardless of the whisky itself (which I think is pretty good!), there’s some fun to sipping the same whisky from the same bottle as characters on screen. Perhaps androids do dream of electric whisky? Anyways, on to the main review —
This specially designed bottle was created by a partnership between filmmaker Dennis Villeneuve and Johnnie Walker to reflect the world of Blade Runner 2049. The special bottle is seen on screen in the sci-fi noir thriller and it’s a cool memento which also packs a tasty punch. The Director’s Cut is a “limited” 39,000 bottle release worldwide, with a 27,600 bottle allocation going to the US, but only to 15 states.
As a nod to Blade Runner 2049, this whisky was bottled at 49% ABV. This release is a combination of more than 30 single malts and grain whiskies; as to which whiskies are included in the blend, Diageo of course won’t divulge that, but you can just look over the roster of every scotch whisky distillery that they own. Based on the taste, I would guess that there is a significant amount of Caol Ila and Talisker in the blend, as well as some sherry matured whisky. I would also guess that some of the whiskies in this blend are a bit older, given the complexity and the coherence of the aroma and flavor.
What I can say for sure is that this isn’t merely the regular old Black Label in a fancy new decanter. Not only is this whisky substantially higher proof, but it’s also got some other flavors which don’t fit the profile of JW Black Label – his whisky is stronger, smokier, and far richer. It’s also more iconic than the tasty Green Label.
It should be noted that this is a bit of a collector’s item. Personally, I prefer to drink my whiskies, but I’ll certainly be keeping the special bottle around long after I finish its contents – perhaps to be used as a decanter for other blended scotches. There’s something special and iconic about the decanter this blend comes in, and combined with the flavor it packs, it’s worth the price of admission.
- A blend of various Scottish malt and grain whiskies
- Non-age stated
- No information on coloring or chill filtering
- Bottled at 49% ABV
Nose: Soft and sweet. Toasted marshmallows, rich vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt are most apparent, with additional hints of sweet dark fruits (raisins or dates), mild smoke, and black pepper.
Palate: The arrival is full of fruity sweets and marshmallow. The development reveals multiple layers of sweet tobacco, smoke, and more sweets. Medium bodied with a velvety mouthfeel.
Finish: Long. Lingering sweets and fruits with billowing plumes of campfire smoke. Complex and rich.
Buying Recommendation: Must Try! This whisky is tasty, complex, and rich. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable blend, and is vastly superior to the regular Black Label. For the price, you could find a single malt that does any single component flavors better than this blend, but you’d be hard pressed to find a single malt in the price range that is as complete of a package. This is blending done right – the sum of its parts yields a fuller experience than any part on its own. If you’re a whisky AND a cinema fan, the collector’s element to this bottle makes it a must buy. Even if you don’t care for the film, the Director’s Cut is a great whisky, and anyone who enjoys balanced, smokey scotch should seek out a pour.