Johnnie Walker Swing

JW Swing

Rating: ★★★★

Recommendation: Buy it! 

Type: Blended Scotch whisky

Origin: Scotland

ABV: 40%

Reaction: 😀

The Johnnie Walker Swing is a blend of whiskies from the Highlands and Speyside region of the mainland of Scotland, and the Isle of Islay.


Soft vanillas, with an aroma that is similar to melting vanilla ice cream, fill the glass. Mild notes of grass and hay – which seem to be flickers of the peat influence in this whisky – sit beneath shades of fruit; find orange zest, apple cores and a backbone of sherry. Impressive.


Smooth and full of flavour, the whisky has a lovely mouth-feel that is slightly viscous. The taste of soft peat sits beneath buttery shortbread and almond croissant. There is wave after wave of orange zest, vanilla, cream, chocolate, coffee beans, wood and butter. It is sweet and teases, ever so gently, with Islay peat and the mild spray of salt. The peat seems to increasingly get more noticeable with each dram.


The finish presents with the aftertaste of avocado, as it leaves a fatty and oily film on the palate. The oak come out more, as the taste of wood and dark chocolate merges with cracked coffee beans. Oyster shells, just removed from a bed of rock salt, lingers.

Bottom Line: 

Buy it! Johnnie Walker Swing is full of flavour and yet extremely smooth and quaffable.  Its price, whether you are in the United States or Australia, is very reasonable for a whisky of this quality – there is no semblance of overly immature whisky as far as I can tell; a far cry from other no age statement whisky on the market.

Compass Box Great King Street Glasgow Blend


Rating: ★★★

Origin: Scotland

Type: Blended whisky

ABV: 43%

Having produced the downright delectable Great King Street Artists Blend, Compass Box have seemingly decided to keep pushing the boundaries and produce a more full bodied blend that appears to be aimed at satisfying the Glaswegian palate. The aptly named Great King Street Glasgow Blend is intended to be a fuller bodied whisky with peat and sherry notes.  


At first it is fiery with pepper and undertones of dried red chilies, reminding me of the smell of red charcoals burning bright in a Tandoori oven as the drying sherry is almost steamy and vaporous. The malt and peat are nicely integrated with the other aromas, and sitting behind the bittersweet smell of dark chocolate nonpareils are mild coastal and winy notes that meld grass and sea – mussels in a white wine cream sauce and chives comes to mind.      


The taste of chocolate is soon accompanied by sweet sherry and maraschino cherries, and the peat then takes a more dominant role after a few moments as a grassiness emerges with white wine and a distant coastal note. The sherry is both sweet and drying.  


The finish presents with sweet drying sherry, with lingering grassy notes and steamy alcohol vapours as the aftertaste of sour cream and chives lingers. 

Bottom line: 

Consider it. Compass Box Great King Street Glasgow Blend  is a flavour packed whisky with a theme of grassy soft peat, white wine, chocolate, and, both sugary and drying sherry. Despite its pale colour, the sherry is pronounced and the flavours are nicely integrated. It does strike me as a somewhat sweet dram, and even though the sherry is certainly a presence in the whisky there does not seem to be much flavour extracted from the wood. This might suggest that the whisky is quite young, and young it does taste. Its impressive nose lifted my expectations very high, and I could not help but feel disappointed by the lack of depth and complexity on the palate. That said, this is a lovely drinkable Scotch whisky and at an affordable price. Just don’t expect any fireworks on the palate.