Johnnie Walker XR-21
Johnnie Walker XR-21 – Collectible Whisky
A special edition release of Johnnie Walker, this 21 year old expression was inspired by the blending notes of Sir Alexander Walker. Featuring whisky from the extensive Johnnie Walker stocks, the XR 21 Year Old is even said to include whisky from the now-silent Brora distillery. This is one of the original 10’000 bottles global release from 2014. There have been 4 further releases of this product, with different packaging.
Appearance: Johnnie Walker XR-21 is the oldest Walker available worldwide. It comes in a fancy decanter-style bottle with a gold coloured stopper. On top of that, the whole works are packaged in a metallic gold box, which features a striking cut-out that reminds me of a hybridized Maltese cross and a Celtic cross.
Colour: Within the rather substantial bottle, you will find a whisky with a golden appearance that takes on a deep vermilion hue depending on the lighting.
Nose: The scent gives off a mysterious waft of fruits. Vanilla and lotus flower mingle with a pleasantly noncommittal type of fruitiness, along with some woodiness from 21 years or more in quite a few different casks.
Palate: At forty percent alcohol, the mouthfeel is luscious and smooth with absolutely no need for water. Stone fruits like peaches and nectarines emerge to swirl around a ring of pineapple. Coconut makes an entrance. Waffle cone asserts itself. And, finally, some tartness from wood tannins helps to balance all of the sweetness.
Finish: Caramel comes to the fore. Surprisingly, it rises to the roof of the mouth: a slight bitter note rears its serpentine head, only to sink back into a wave of vanilla extract. Yes, first-fill casks become noticeable, if at the death. Very nice and reassuring. I would characterize the XR’s finish as “medium” in length.