Scotch - Blended
Johnnie Walker 18yr Gold Label Centenary Blended Scotch Whisky
This is a Tier 2 score in the Whiskey category. It means critics have highly recommended the spirit as a benchmark in the category.
Johnnie Walker--the man whose name would grace the bottles of more scotch whisky than any other brand in the 21st century--was born in 1805 and began as a grocery store manager at age 14 in 1819. Part of the grocery business was a personal blend of whisky. Yet it was his son Alexander who took the Johnnie Walker blend of whisky to the worldwide markets in its square bottle (the first of its kind and designed to save space in shipping) in 1860. The Eyewitness Companion to Whiskey quotes brand owner Diageo claiming over 7 million casks of whisky in the maturation process at any given time. This unrivaled amount of whisky allows them great specificity and consistency in their blends and that all the scotch together is worth more than all the gold in the vaults of the Bank of England.The company was acquired by Guiness in 1985, which eventually became Diageo in a merger in 1997.
Today, Johnnie Walker offers several different "labels" of scotch whisky, designated by color. The Gold Label is a blend the distillery claims is "made for celebration" and was first made in 1920 as a grandson's tribute to his grandfather (Johnnie Walker). The blend is from 18yr scotches. They suggest drinking it at freezing temperatures and letting it warm in your mouth.
The 2011 Wine Enthusiast review recommended drinking chilled and paired with a dessert.
Update: it appears that this label is being retired in favor of the 18yr Platinum Label and the new Gold Label Reserve.