THE DEFAULT BLENDING whisky from a blend-only brand, Red Label never set out to be a straight sipper, though the scorn it endures from some in the scotch world seems ready to overlook this fact. In brief, it is a serviceable mixer, widely affordable, and straightforwardly inoffensive. A ‘classic’ insofar as it has survived a century on the not-quite-bottom shelf without diluting the Striding Man’s illustrious Blue shadow. But to the tasting itself: Red pours a translucent, rather nondescript yellow or nearly synthetic-looking orange without particularly standout legs. Its aroma is very sweet, leading with butterscotch and continuing into apple, vanilla, golden raisins, light honey, and some char towards the end. This in particular cues the flavor, which is a bit hot and rough, the burn of the barrel being rather too apparent and the youth of the grains overweening. Once this is gotten used to, though, one can also discern corn and bits of leather. Overall it is slightly flat, too forward with its sweetness, and with a short, plasticy finish. Keep walking…onto something else.