In the past, I have had the privilege of consuming some expensive spirits. Sometimes offered by friends while smoking cigars, sometimes purchased at exotic bars (a shot of Louis XIII in the Caymans). For scotch lovers that don't drive expensive cars (RUSTO), I have a great choice for you tonight.

I was turned on to Johnnie Walker Double Black just over a year ago. Back then, it was very hard to find on the shelves of liquor stores, as the product would sell out very quickly. It was no secret that, unlike it's big brother Blue, this bottle of liquid sunshine and sex was a great bang for the buck.

I recently picked up a fresh bottle for a mere $45 from the local alcoholics liquor store and immediately poured it into a very nice crystal decanter. This is so that I feel more sophisticated when I pour a glass.

The price of the 750mL bottle is deceiving. An uninitiated soul might think that it's just some gimmick to sell regular Black Label, but it's not. The aroma immediately defines it as different. The taste has a hint of vanilla and smokiness about it, with a hint of char from the barrels it aged in. It's smooth, but not quite baby's ass/Blue Label smooth. As someone who can take a shot of Jäger/tequila/turpentine without wincing, I actually appreciate a small bite to my alcohol. You probably won't mind it either.

The best compliment I can actually give this fine example of distilled grain is that it is priced as a bargain. Really, $45 isn't pocket change for most people, but it's ridiculously inexpensive for what it is. And if you'd like a second opinion, read this.


Verdict: A fine scotch that might be outclassed by big bro Blue Label, but holds it's own against any contenders within $50 of it's price point.