We stumbled across the John Barr Reserve Blend during a whisky tasting and let me tell you, had it been a blind tasting, I would have guessed it was Johnnie Walker. It wasn’t, but the similarities were impeccable and that is because this brand was truly meant to taste like Johnnie Walker.
John Barr blended whisky was born when Johnnie Walker Red Label was withdrawn from the market due to the concerns of dual pricing of goods back in the 1970s. The product was put together by the Johnnie Walker team and licensed to George Cowie & Sons Ltd. The brand is now a label under Whyte & Mackay and was re-launched early this year.
Nose: oak, vanilla, apple
Palate: wood, toffee, vanilla and spices
Finish: lingering notes of vanilla and spices
It’s a solid blended whisky that is smooth and light. If you love Johnnie Walker, you’ll enjoy John Barr. What you’ll love even more is the price of this bottle which averages around $25, depending on where you buy.
It’s a good alternative for Johnnie Walker if one, you are looking for something around this price range and two, if you are looking for similar tasting characteristics. Truthfully, it won’t replace Johnnie Walker for me, but it doesn’t need to because there is a place for both. I enjoyed it and would drink again.
Note: The contents on my blog are solely my opinion. To me every palate is different! Although I may or may not like a product, I always recommend for people to try it and make up their own minds.