Johnnie Walker Blade Runner, Plus New Yamazaki, Dalmore, Dewar’s & More Whisky

Sci-fi and whisky never looked so good together. Johnnie Walker has announced a special edition Black Label, celebrating the upcoming release of Blade Runner 2049. The futuristic bottle resembles that depicted in the original Blade Runner, which has long been a visual and conceptual reference point for the genre at large. Between this, Old Forester Statesman, and GlenDronach Kingsman, it’s a great time to be a whisky-loving cinephile.

Yamazaki is rolling out a splashy new whisky too, though this one is more out of reach for everyday drinking. Three years after it was last available—and four years after it was last for sale in the U.S.—Yamazaki Mizunara Cask has returned. If you have a grand to drop on unique Japanese single malt, this one should not be missed. Or if you have several thousand dollars more to spend, maybe you’d fancy The Dalmore 40 year old. There are only 750 bottles available, and at $7,500 each, they will be in demand only for a certain a kind of high roller.

Several annual releases are launching now. Dewar’s is debuting a new 25 year old blended whisky this November. It will be available initially  in New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles, eventually arriving in other states, and new batches will come out annually. Meanwhile, the 2017 release of Angel’s Envy Cask Strength bourbon is rolling out—10,000 bottles are available this year. And Speyburn is adding a 15 year old single malt to its core range. The whisky is priced at a very reasonable $65 and will be limited to 21,000 bottles a year for the world.

Finally, Bladnoch‘s single malt whiskies are in the U.S. at last, nearly a year after launching in the UK. Samsara, Talia 15 year old, and Adela 25 year old join the distillery’s Pure Scot blended scotch, which is also releasing a new Virgin Oak expression. Read on for full details.

Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director's Cut

Style: Blended whisky
Origin: Scotland
Age: 12 years old
Proof: 49% ABV
Price: $80
Release: September 2017
Availability: 39,000 bottles

Need to know:

Fans of the Ridley Scott classic Blade Runner will remember the prominence of a futuristic Johnnie Walker bottle in the film. In honor the upcoming Blade Runner 2049, which opens on October 6th, Johnnie Walker has released this special-edition Black Label, which the official tasting notes describe as a “dark, rich, smooth blend, with clouds of smokiness and a touch of femininity.”

Whisky Advocate says:

If you love both whisky and movies, this is your moment. With Old Forester Statesman, GlenDronach Kingsman, and this Blade Runner Johnnie Walker, you’ve got a mini movie-and-whisky marathon on your hands. Now to find those nifty glasses Harrison Ford uses in the original film…

Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017 Edition

Style: Single malt
Origin: Japan
Age: 18 years old
Proof: 48% ABV
Price: $1,000
Release: October 2017
Availability: 5,000 bottles for the world

Need to know:

This is a Yamazaki single malt matured entirely in casks made of mizunara oak, a species native to Japan that’s notoriously difficult to work with and expensive to procure. The youngest whisky in the blend is 18 years old, and the oldest tops out at 50.

Whisky Advocate says:

Yamazaki released mizunara cask-aged single malts in 2010, 2011, and 2014 in Japan, and globally in 2012 and 2013. Like the past releases, this new whisky is extremely limited, and its price reflects that. If you’ve got the money to spend and want to taste a truly unique single malt, start calling specialist retailers to secure a bottle. And if you’re curious about what mizunara oak so different from other oak types, we’ve got an article that answers that question.

Dalmore 40 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Highlands)
Age: 40 years old
Proof: 42% ABV
Price: $7,500
Release: September 2017
Availability: 750 bottles for the world for the world

Need to know:

Matured first in ex-bourbon casks, this single malt was then transferred to Gonzalez Byass Matsualem oloroso sherry butts before a final finish in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels.

Whisky Advocate says:

The last time Whisky Advocate reviewed a 40 year old Dalmore, it cost $3,000 and scored 92 points. With only 750 bottles available at the steep price of $7,500, very few whisky lovers will get to taste this one—but we’re guessing it’ll be a memorable experience.

Dewar's 25 year old

Style: Blended whisky
Origin: Scotland
Age: 25 years old
Proof: 40% ABV
Price: $225
Release: November 2017
Availability: For sale in New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles, with expansion planned

Need to know:

This is a limited-edition Dewar’s blended whisky that has been aged for 25 years and finished for three months in ex-single malt casks from Royal Brackla Distillery.

Whisky Advocate says:

Scotch-finished scotch? Why not? Dewar’s is certainly taking a different approach here, albeit not too off the wall, considering that Royal Brackla is one of the component malts of the core Dewar’s blend.

Angel's Envy Cask Strength 2017

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: Not stated
Proof: 62.25% ABV
Price: $200
Release: September 2017
Availability: 10,000 bottles

Need to know:

This year’s limited-edition cask strength version of Angel’s Envy bourbon clocks in at 124.5 proof. It will be available in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Washington, D.C.

Whisky Advocate says:

The 2016 release of Angel’s Envy Cask Strength scored 87 points, but previous releases have scored 89 points (in 2012 and 2014) and 90 points (2015)—showing that no two releases are identical, but all are high quality whiskeys.

Speyburn 15 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 15 years old
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $65
Release: September 2017
Availability: 21,000 bottles for the world

Need to know:

A brand new whisky from Speyburn Distillery, this 15 year old was matured in American and Spanish oak casks. It is non-chill filtered and natural color.

Whisky Advocate says:

Speyburn’s core range consists of two NAS single malts—Arranta and Bradan Orach—and a 10 year old. This 15 year old joins as a permanent, though limited, expression, and is also the first whisky in the lineup to receive all new packaging.

Bladnoch Samsara

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Lowlands)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 46.7% ABV
Price: $90
Release: Fall 2017
Availability: CA, NV, IL, NY, MD, CO, WA , and Washington, D.C.

Need to know:

This NAS single malt celebrates the “rebirth” of Bladnoch Distillery. It was aged in California red wine and bourbon casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Samsara came out in the UK and other markets last year, and is now arriving in the U.S. It scored 86 points in our Winter 2016 Buying Guide.

Bladnoch Adela 15 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Lowlands)
Age: 15 years old
Proof: 46.7% ABV
Price: $120
Release: Fall 2017
Availability: CA, NV, IL, NY, MD, CO, WA , and Washington, D.C.

Need to know:

This single malt spent 15 years in an oloroso sherry cask and is bottled with natural coloring and no chill-filtering.

Whisky Advocate says:

Adela scored 87 points in our Summer 2017 Buying Guide, with the reviewer noting flavors of spice, toffee, black currants, and licorice.

Bladnoch Talia 25 year old Port Pipe Finish

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Lowlands)
Age: 25 year old
Proof: 48.4% ABV
Price: $500
Release: Fall 2017
Availability: 1,200 bottles for CA, NV, IL, NY, MD, CO, WA , and Washington, D.C.

Need to know:

An earlier release of Talia 25 year old, which scored 88 points in our Summer 2017 Buying Guide, sold out very quickly. This new whisky, finished in a port pipe, will likely do the same, as only 1,200 bottles are available in the U.S.

Whisky Advocate says:

Bladnoch Distillery has been through some ups and downs over the last couple of decades, and was mothballed from around 2010 until June 2017, when distilling started up again. These three single malts have been created from older stocks that had been aging in Bladnoch’s warehouses.

Pure Scot Virgin Oak

Style: Blended whisky
Origin: Scotland (Lowlands)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 43% ABV
Price: $50
Release: Fall 2017
Availability: CA, NV, IL, NY, MD, CO, WA , and Washington, D.C.

Need to know:

This blended whisky is created with Bladnoch single malt as its “heart malt,” along with other malt and grain whiskies from around Scotland. After blending, it underwent a secondary maturation in virgin oak casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

There are two pretty interesting things going on with this blend. First, its “heart malt” (the primary malt whisky component) is from the Lowlands, which has only a few distilleries and isn’t often the featured malt in a blend. Secondly, it underwent a finishing period after being blended—an atypical step.

2 Comments

Rich Lechner

Regarding your comment on the Bladerunner cocktail glasses. I have a pair of the glasses that Harrison Ford uses in the original movie and they are fantastic. Really cool design, high quality heavy crystal handmade in Italy. They cost about $130 a pair and well worth it. The only source that I have found is an online store based in the U.K. TheY were great to deal with and shipping to USA was reasonable. Here is the website: https://www.firebox.com/Blade-Runner-Whiskey-Glasses/p4346?mkt=en-us

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