Brand: J&B Rare (Justerini & Brooks)
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: Unspecified but probably between 3 and 8 Years
Colour: Light Gold
Nose: Average. I am welcomed by wafts of sharp Alcohol. I’m fighting my way through and find Corn Flakes with Sugar and a touch of Salt. I suspect the presence of many young Grain whiskies in this blend. Bit of Malt, Nuts and young Wood. Light Vanilla. There are some Fruity tones in the back but the Alcohol makes it difficult to identify them. Green Apples probably.
Taste: Thin delivery. Sugary Caramel with Hot Spices and rough Wood dipped in raw Alcohol.
Finish: Sweet as Candy. Bit of Honey and Oak. Stubborn Alcohol!
When you add a bit of water, it helps to drown the sharp Alcohol on the nose and I also smell a bit of Lemon. On the palate it waters things down on the one hand but it also makes the Caramel slightly less sugary. You can experiment a bit with water on this blend if you like.
Nose: 19 – Taste: 19 – Finish: 18 – Overall: 18,5
General Remarks: This blend is the second best selling blended alcohol in the world! It’s hard to believe! Only Johnnie Walker Red Label sells more. Much more actually. But Still! It’s very popular in Spain but I’m sure they mostly mix it with something down there. The very sweet delivery makes it suitable for mixing I suppose. At its heart lies the Speyside distillery Knockando (Diageo).
There are over 40 Malt – and Grain whiskies in this blend and it’s been around since 1900 or so. But I fail to see the relevance of mixing so many whiskies to get such an indifferent end result. It must be me!
Drinking Experience Neat: Average/Good
Conclusion: Some guy (I believe from Balvenie) once said that whisky is liquid muesli. He’s got a point there. But there are many flavors available to transform your basic muesli into a very special breakfast. However, these flavors are not part of the J&B Rare Blend I’m afraid. It’s just your basic grains with a bit of sugar and some salt. It’s drinkable of course but it does not make me scream out for more.