Johnnie Walker fans rejoice for here’s another legendary release from the John Walker private collection. The 2017 edition Mastery of Oak is the fourth bottling in the private collection range from John Walker & Sons.
Johnnie Walker master blender Jim Beveridge together with the help of fellow blender Aimée Gibson handpicked exceptional casks of malt and grain whiskeys to create three vattings, each selected for their ability to display different oak characteristics.
The first vatting is a mix of malt and grain whiskeys that have been aged in active American oak, together with a “handful” of whiskeys aged in rejuvenated casks. The second vatting consists of Highland and Speyside refill casks that have been aged longer than the first vatting. The third vatting consists of “experimental” malt and grain whiskeys aged in American oak casks that had been toasted to varying degrees. Each vatting was designed to contribute distinctive flavors and its many ways of influencing maturation to produce their most complex blend to date.
The 2017 edition comes bottled in a glass decanter illustrated with rings of oak and an angled cut to reflect the iconic Johnnie Walker slanted label. The story of the blend is depicted in the swirling oak pattern and represents the variety of cask styles and effects in the blend.
Mastery of Oak is best served neat, or with a few drops of ice water to elevate the fresh fruit notes of the original Speyside and Highland distillery characters. It has a limited release of 5,588 bottles and is available for $685 from specialist retailers.