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Johnnie Walker sent me some nice sipping scotch so I drank it in the park with my friends

Enjoy scotch the way it's meant to be enjoyed.

Jane Walker Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Jane Walker Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Johnnie Walker

The best glass of Jane Walker I drank might have had a piece of dirt in it. I’m not sure because by that point it was pretty dark out, and the park was getting cold, and I was somewhat worse for wear.

Last Thursday I was sitting at my desk in front of four miniature Glencairn glasses, four bottles of scotch, and a Zoom meeting. The bottles were three miniature tasting bottles of Cardhu 12, Cardhu Gold Reserve, and Clynelish 14, and one 750 ML bottle of Jane Walker Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, blended together by master blender Dr. Emma Walker (learn about the difference between whiskey and whisky here).

Jane Walker blended scotch whisky - Drizley.com

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Dr. Walker (no relation to Johnnie) is an engaging speaker, even over Zoom, with plenty of bona fides: her background is in chemistry, which she applies to the blends she creates, and before inventing Jane Walker she worked on a few different blends including Red Rye and variations of the famous Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

She walked us through tasting each of the three scotches and explained why she had picked each one, and what they created when they were combined: the Cardhu 12, a classic Speyside, has a sweet and soft apple flavor in the nose that concludes with a “slight banana note” that comes in the back, as well as black chocolate, and notes of cereal. The Cardhu Gold offers a similar, but gentler experience: a riper, softer apple that comes in a bit later, as well as hints of spice and clove and “a wee bit of black pepper,” according to Dr. Walker. Then, the Clynelish (Gaelic for “green pasture”) has a “snapshot of the place where it’s from” in the nose, with fruity flavors like clementines and lime, as well as clover, that Dr. Walker compared to walking in the countryside. The defining aspect of Clynelish is the waxy flavor that comes from the build-up of fatty acids in the receiver tank, which gives the drink a distinct texture that I absolutely loved.

Finally, we tasted a Jane Walker, carefully calibrated to achieve the friendly, enjoyable flavor – so finely focused that Dr. Walker calibrated the ABV down to 41.9%, which she dialed in from a high of 45% and a low of 40% until everything was exactly right.

But I’m too young and stupid to tell you if a scotch is good just from an evening spent drinking it at my desk during a Zoom call. So I stuck it in my bag and carried it to the park, where I met a few friends to play a few rounds of “talk about your feelings while we drink the whiskey Josh got for free.”

Over the next couple hours, we agreed that Jane Walker was a delightful, appropriately priced, and agreeable whiskey for drinking outdoors from miniature plastic solo cups. We agreed that naming the blend “Jane Walker” was an attempt to appeal specifically to female whiskey drinkers, who make up only 30% of the whiskey-drinking market in the United States (for the record, Dr. Walker responded to that suggestion with the statement “Jane Walker is for people who drink whiskey"). We also discussed online dating in the time of Covid ("Zoom dates are awkward"), the new Justice League movie ("Exhausting"), and how much Jane Walker it would take for any of us to enjoy something Zack Snyder had made ("There isn't enough in all of Scotland").

Most of all, though, we marveled at the adorable glass dropper bottle full of mineral water that I used to add a single drop to each glass of scotch we drank. The consensus was that it’s absolutely adorable, and here’s how you can get a two-pack of your very own.

In conclusion, calling this drink “Jane Walker” is gimmicky, but it’s a fun gimmick (the bottle is gorgeous), and beneath that gimmick is an interesting whiskey with a complex enough flavor to warrant some real conversation. For under $50, you can't ask for more than that.