Johnnie Walker really frosts 'em

Storing vodka in the freezer is a grand idea. Doing it with gin or some liqueurs can be OK. But, Scotch whisky?

It's OK to do, says Stuart Brown, the Walker Brands scotch Master who is suggesting the unusual move with Johnnie Walker's Gold Label Centenary Blend, an 18-year-old that goes for $80-plus.

Brown is telling beverage journalists that a day in the freezer will actually improve the whisky as an after-dinner drink by making it thicker and more syrupy, opening its caramel and vanilla notes.

He credits Guy Martin, a chef in Paris, with coming up with the idea of ultra-chilled scotch while nibbling on good-quality chocolate as a new dessert combination. But, he's insistent the Gold label is the only Johnnie Walker type that should get the treatment.


"Very simply, it tastes good," Brown said. "I can't explain why it does what it does. It's one of the few Scotches in the world that reacts this way."

Chef Guy, by the way, is a busy fellow on another front. He will open his first U.S. restaurant next year in a hotel now being constructed in Boston. Martin was awarded three Michelin stars in 2000 at the Grand Vefour restaurant in Paris. He has published more than a dozen cookbooks.

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