Our Review of the Johnnie Walker Limited Edition Black Label Director’s Cut Whiskey
Have you been wondering what the spirits of the future will look like or taste? Whiskey drinkers are great fans of aging–so what will another 30 years give us? An answer has been out there since 1982. And yes, you’re a replicant.
Timed with the much anticipated sequel Blade Runner 2049 last year, Johnnie Walker did a collaboration with Denis Villeneuve (the filmmaker responsible for the movie) and released a limited edition Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director’s Cut.
“Like many fans, I remember the Johnnie Walker bottle from the first film, so it was a unique privilege to collaborate with Johnnie Walker on designing a totally original, custom bottle for the new movie,” says Villeneuve. “It was also a once-in-a-lifetime experience to help create the limited-edition Director’s Cut blend, which perfectly captures the complex and mysterious world of Blade Runner 2049.”
This is no great surprise if you know your movie history: Johnnie Walker was famously featured in the original 1982 Blade Runner film as Harrison Ford character Rick Deckard’s favorite drink. Here it is being poured by Deckard’s surly bartender:
I’ve done some reading around the web, and it appears that most bloggers have missed the mark and assume that it was the same shaped bottle back then. Not so! Sadly, in the early 80s Ridley Scott’s vision called for a bottle closely resembling Listerine.
In style and form, the new bottle easily beats the old out. With a slick new slanted design in the shape, it truly looks at home in a distant future. The internals of the box also feature very cool images of the blasted Earth landscape where Harrison Ford has been holed up:
“What we have created in Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director’s Cut is something really special that fans will be able to relate to and whisky drinkers will love,” master blender Beveridge says. “I was truly inspired by Villeneuve’s artistic vision for Blade Runner 2049 and how it could come to life in this new blend. I learned that filmmaking is much like blending—you have to constantly be committed to creating the best possible outcome. Johnnie Walker blending tradition dates back to 1820 and I’m honored to carry on the legacy and collective memory of our other past blenders to ensure that the same whisky enjoyed today can be enjoyed responsibly in 2049.”
Only 39,000 bottles of Director’s Cut were made for the entire globe, with 27,600 of those going to just 15 states in the U.S. Its name, a wry jab at Ridley Scott who famously did not give his blessing for the very well received director’s cut of the original film, also gives a nod to Villeneuve’s collaboration on the design. It has a 49% ABV, exceeding traditional Black Label’s 40% by a strong margin.
Now enough with the trivia–on to the review!
Nose: Leather, vanilla icing, honey. Some faint floral notes.
Taste: Numbing mouthfeel, medium to low heat. Rich honey, vanilla, moderate smokeness, notes of apple.
Finish: There is a slightly sweet, sickly, bitterness. Smoke when you exhale. (Definitely get that apple when you burp)
Conclusion: I wanted to compare this side by side with the original Black Label however, the higher-than-average alcohol content makes this difficult to do. I believe The Director’s
Cut was labeled as a “Black Label” simply to cater to Hollywood. It definitely does not drink like the original Black Label and is absolutely of a higher quality. The Director’s Cut is bolder, smoother and more full-flavored than the typical Black Label.
If you’re a strong fan of good scotch, you should definitely look around online to snatch one of these up from any of the outlets still selling. Original MSRP was around $99, and will likely continue climbing from there as supplies run out. The bottle alone is an awesome keepsake! Now head on over to read our article about the top 5 strong & silent types of the movies.