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Oct 17, 2010 06:00 PM

Blended scotch most similar to Johnnie Walker Blue

I'm looking to pick up a bottle of scotch or whisky/-ey for someone who loves Johnnie Walker Blue Label (and has several bottles of it saved for special occasions). I'd assume it'd be another blended whiskey, and I've seen Chivas Regal 18 thrown about as an OK alternative, but I was wondering if anyone had any other suggestions. Ideally looking for something in a reasonable price range so as to have it not be treated as another "special occasion" bottle.

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  1. This recent thread and article to it, naming Ballantine's 17-year old blend as the "best" whisky, might be of interest. Not sure how much it sells for. ($80-$100?)

    1. I've never had the Blue but I have a bottle of the Gold and it is very nice. I have read several reviews saying the Gold is actually better than the Blue - the reason for the price difference is more because of rarity than quality, some of the malts used in the Blue are no longer made and once they are gone, that's it.

      Here is one review:


      and if you look down the right hand side of the page you will see links to his reviews of the rest of the Johnnie Walker line.

      5 Replies
      1. re: ncyankee101

        Yeah, I can't judge whether or not Blue is worth the price; heck, my favorite of the blends is the Green. I'm just not a big blended scotch fan and, as such, I can't really make a judgment on which is closest to Blue. That's not to say I don't appreciate them, but I'd rather have a Springbank 10 for $30 than a JWB for $200.

        Aside from the Gold (which, truth be told, I don't like as much as the Blue, although - as I said - I'm not hugely into the blends) - does anyone have any other recommendations?

        1. re: lambretta76

          I also like the Green, actually can't say which I like better between the Green and Gold - they are different and both good in their own ways.

          I wish the 4 pack was available in this state - I have a friend staying in Atlanta this week and Total Wine has it for $50, a 200 ml of the Blue alone is worth about that. It would be a little out of her way but I may try to talk her into making a run for me.

          PS - I would love to get Springbank 10 for $30 too, the lowest price I see in the US is around $50 and that's on sale, closer to $60 in most places.

          1. re: lambretta76

            Yeah I also want to know where you get Springbank 10 for $30. Even at Shopper's Vineyard it's $58

            1. re: scubadoo97

              I may have misspoken. I've noticed it in the 25 euro range in Ireland recently and remember seeing it for 20 pounds or so in Scotland; I hadn't priced it out in the states. I see that Astor Wines is charging $50 for it in NYC, and they generally have competitive prices, so I believe I was off by a decent margin. My apologies.

              1. re: lambretta76

                No problem but I was going to ask you to pick me up a few bottles. ;(

        2. If you're looking specifically for blends, the Black Bull line offers something very interesting, with a sherried malt influence. The Black Bull 30 is about a comparable price to the JW Blue. Chivas 18 and Ballantine 17 are both competing with Blue.

          Of course, there are many single malts that you could also get for the inflated price of blue. A bottle of Cardhu might be intereseting for your friend since it is one of the elements of Blue. Clynelish is another excellent single malt which is one of the major ingredients of JW Gold.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sku

            I have only seen Cardhu in Florida since it was taken off the market years ago. Does anyone know whether/where Cardhu is sold in MA-RI-NH?

            1. re: oystertripe

              Don't know about New England, but it is definitely in the NY/NJ area.