This marks the third bottle in a series of special releases under the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare collection.
If you were a fan of the Port Ellen and Brora releases from the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare series, then we’re certain that the latest Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare Glenury Royal bottling will have you sitting up, paying attention, and having a mouthful of its name.
For the uninitiated, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare is a series of limited-edition whiskies crafted from iconic “ghost” distilleries that shuttered many years ago, decades even. Despite not being in operation, these ghost distilleries still harbour many treasures in the form of rare, untouched barrels of whisky. Who knows what time and abandonment have done to mature these spirits into fine, unusually flavoured liquid?
Spearheading this collection is Johnnie Walker’s master blender, Jim Beveridge who has long been passionate about rare whiskies from the brand’s Blue Label reserves. “This indulgent new limited edition provides us with a wonderful opportunity to explore the remarkable layers of rich fruit found in every drop of Johnnie Walker Blue Label,” he says.
As its name suggests, the main component that makes up the Ghost & Rare Glenury Royal blend is the Highland single malt Glenury Royal from its eponymous distillery. A short history of the distillery — it was founded in 1825 by a certain Captain Robert Barclay (a member of the British parliament, no less) and became one of the only three Scottish distilleries to have a royal title. It shuttered in 1985, but the captain’s tenacity lives on in the reserves of the ghost whisky.
Alongside precious spirit from the Glenury Royal distillery, Beveridge has also selected two equally rare whiskies from the ghost distilleries of Cambus and Pittyvaich. Five other rare whiskies are also added into the mix: Glen Elgin, Inchgower, Glenlossie, Cameronbridge, and Glenkinchie. The resulting blend is a rich one; allow us to break it down for you.
On the nose, you’ll find a nice, warm vanilla and honey scent greeting you — this is thanks to the blend of Glen Elgin, Inchgower, Glenlossie, Cameronbridge, and Glenkinchie — with a woody and earthy essence. But the party really begins when you take a sip of the liquid gold — layer after layer of flavours reveal itself to you, from dark chocolate to sweet sticky butterscotch and toffee with a certain floral nuttiness and dried fruits of apricot and mango. Despite having so many flavour profiles, it has a good balance and doesn’t overwhelm the palate. Needless to say, it has a nice long finish that will leave you thinking about it long after. The whisky is bottled at 43.8% ABV, so take it easy.
The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare Glenury Royal is available now at RM1,599. Each bottle is individually numbered, and you can purchase your own here.
(All images: Johnnie Walker)