Showing posts with label Johnnie Walker Green Label. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Johnnie Walker Green Label. Show all posts

Johnnie Walker Green Label Review

Country: Scotland
Brand: Johnnie Walker Green Label  
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: 15 Years
Alcohol: 40%

Colour: Amber

Nose: Malted Barley, Heather and Peat are followed by Oak, Sherry, Oranges, Raisins and Caramel. There’s some Alcohol but nothing to get upset about. You have to be very patient and persevering to get round these initial flavors but after quite a while I detected hints of Coffee, Leather and Tobacco. Very light Spices.

Taste: Very smooth and sweet though a bit watery delivery with Honey and Toffee, followed by Cinnamon and Pepper. Much sweeter than I’d expected actually after the nose. A light saltiness appears. Grapefruit, Nuts, Oak and Tobacco. Again I would like to stress that a blend of this quality should be bottled at (at least) 43%.

You may add some water that will release even more Heather, Honey and Peat but be careful! A drop too much and the palate is gone. I prefer it without water to better enjoy the Talisker Pepper that provides a welcome counterbalance for the Honey and Malt from Cragganmore. I would have liked to find a bit more Smoke. Caol Ila does bring (more than) sufficient Peat and a slight saltiness.

Finish: Good, Long but Very Dry. A combination of Honey, Cinnamon and Pepper. Smoke and Ashes from a very distant fire.

Rating: 86,5

Nose: 21,5 – Taste: 21,5 – Finish: 22 – Overall: 21,5

General Remarks: Green Label is the only JW blend made purely of Single Malts. Four of them actually, from all main Scottish production areas: Talisker, Cragganmore, Linkwood and Caol Ila. The blend was introduced around 1995. Unfortunately,Diageo has decided to take the Green out of production. The reason could be that the middle market goes for Black and the Upper Market for Blue and Gold. And Green is too expensive for the Middle Market and not expensive enough for the Upper Market. Result: Disappointing Sales. Well, I do believe indeed that the Green is too expensive when compared to the Black.
But it’s also a quite different blend and as such deserves its place in the JW range. It 's a pity to see it go!

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: I really struggled with this one during the last two nights. I heard so much positive opinions about the Green Label that I was really excited about tasting it. Did I set the bar too high? Probably. I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed. Let me start with the good news. The Finish is without any doubt the best from the Johnnie Walkers I’ve tasted so far. And the Blue label is the only one left untested. Nice combination of sweet, salt and Pepper. If anything, maybe a wee bit too dry. As for the nose, it’s nice enough but I found the Barley and Peat too dominant.  On the palate I thought the sweetness to be a bit overdone. Don’t get me wrong, the Green Label is a very good blend but I still think it can’t beat the Black Label in terms of both harmony and adventure. And I also think that the palate of the Swing is more to the point. It is of course all very personal in the end. But if you prefer Honey and Sweet you should go for the Green and the Gold. If you like a bit more Smoke, than the Black and the Swing are your choices of a good blend. Black, Green, Gold and Swing. You can’t go wrong with any of them. In fact they beat many Single Malts and there aren’t that many blends that achieve that. But with the exception of Black, you will need to dig deep in your pocket! However, the Green won't be around for much longer, so it's now or never!
Jan van den Ende                                                               January 6, 2012