Johnnie Walker – The Royal Route

Travellers Room

I first reported on the Explorers’ Club Collection from Johnnie Walker a while ago when they released The Spice Road. That was the entry level whisky to this trilogy of travel-retail-only bottlings and represented the travellers’ route between Europe and Asia. I quite enjoyed it as you can see here; it was simple, uncomplicated and tasty. And it was also £30 for a litre which is pretty good value too. The second release was The Gold Route, which commemorated the route between the Americas and the Caribbean. However, the sample appears to have gotten lost in the nooks and crannies of EWB Towers and has disappeared into the wilderness (in other words, I don’t know where it is and I haven’t reviewed it). Apologies about that, but let’s not dwell on my failings and so let’s go from part one to part three. A bit like going from The Godfather to The Godfather Part III, and let’s face it, The Godfather Part II was pretty average…

The Royal Route is the third and final instalment of the Explorers’ Club Collection. This whisky takes its inspiration from the route between Europe and Persia and is available now at travel retail outlets worldwide for the fairly hefty sum of $169. I have absolute faith that it’ll be a good whisky. The question for me is, will it live up to its price tag?

Johnnie Walker “The Royal Route”
Explorers’ Club Collection
Travel Retail Only
40% ABV

Nose: Apple strudel, rhubarb crumble and peaches and cream on top. Then malt biscuits, toasted almonds and faint wood smoke underneath.

Palate: Very smooth, almost too smooth actually. Vanilla fudge, toffee, a slice of buttered fruit cake, pencil, cask staves and a dry smokiness.

Finish: Dark chocolate sits alongside some oaky notes and dying smoke.

Overall: It’s good, but I’m not sure it’s really pushing all my buttons. Not for the price, anyway. It’s smooth and tasty but it’s kinda like a session dram for me, and I don’t want to be spending £100+ on a session dram. For this price, I’d be looking for something more complex and interesting, something to really take my time over and something which is gonna make me raise my eyebrows with intrigue. No doubt this whisky will please a lot of Johnnie Walker fans – the packaging looks impressive and it’s not a challenging dram. I just can’t see where Diageo have plucked this price tag from. Apart from that, it’s a well balanced, enjoyable whisky.




  1. tasted and blogged about it. 160$ is silly money. not for this blend mate.
    can get amazing drams for half the price… ahem…

  2. I just read your post and realised how similar our opinions are! It’s a pleasant dram but having tasted it I wouldn’t buy a bottle of it, not for $160.


  3. i agree with y’all, it’s a good blend, but it doesn’t justify its price tag. well, at least the box is really pretty?

  4. I am a big fan of bold and rich drams such as Craggenmore DE, so the Royal Route suits my palet perfectly. As for the price tag, I don’t think it that out of line considering the quality, packaging, and bottle. As a gift, it is quie impressive. What I don’t understand in the JW world is the price for Blue.

  5. I like this blend. As usual, it is easy drinking and smooth, yet it gives you hints of a lot other things. I’m a Johnnie Walker fan. Therefore, anytime they have a new product I will get one and taste it, however ridiculous the price tag is. I have been collecting a lot of its vintage products. They are far better than their counterparts bearing the same names on offer currently.

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