Review: Johnnie Walker High Rye

Review: Johnnie Walker High Rye

Johnnie Walker’s blends don’t typically disclose their mashbill, with the exception of this new release: High Rye, a blended whisky that includes 60% rye in the mash. Here’s the concept:

With a bold profile inspired by iconic Johnnie Walker Black Label tasting notes, Johnnie Walker High Rye Blended Scotch Whisky features a unique mash bill of 60% rye aged in American oak barrels and includes notable single malts that are central to the Johnnie Walker Black Label flavor profile. This latest innovation by Johnnie Walker Master Blender, Jim Beveridge, and Johnnie Walker Whisky Specialist, George Harper, is a taste crafted with a trailblazing spirit, years of tradition and layers of flavor waiting to be explored.

The new offering has a perfectly balanced taste that includes the sweet orchard fruit notes from Cardhu, rich berry fruit notes from Glenkinchie, and subtle wisps of smoke from Caol Ila. Blended with rye and grain whiskies distilled at the Cameronbridge and Teaninich distilleries, Johnnie Walker High Rye Blended Scotch Whisky was crafted to be an exceptional whisky perfect for mixing cocktails like a Manhattan, yet pleasantly smooth to be enjoyed on its own.

For what it’s worth: Barley and wheat make up the rest of the mash. Let’s dig in.

The nose is punchy: Bold and woody up front, then a youthful quality quickly comes to bear. Grassy and grainy at once, with lots of barrel and hemp rope influence. Peanutty with notes of mixed greenery, I wouldn’t have argued with you if you told me this was made in America, not Scotland. The palate doesn’t stray far from the course, folding together spice, cut grass, and youthful caramel corn-peanut shell notes. A bit gritty on the back end, with notes of chimney soot and the slightest hint of peat smoke, the whisky feels a bit underdeveloped — but would probably work fine as a mixer.

90 proof.


Johnnie Walker High Rye




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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