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Monday, 10 November 2014

Johnnie Walker Green Label Blended Whisky Review!

So, my final review in the blended scotch mini-series is here, and I have saved the best until last! Unfortunately it has been discontinued for quite some time now, and is selling at around $400 Australian (and up) on Ebay, which is insane! From memory I paid around $60-70 for the bottle a few years ago, which was great value at the time. This blend really could compete with, and trounce, similarly priced single malts.

The Green Label Johnnie Walker is a 'blended malt' or 'vatted malt' scotch whisky, which means it only contains single malt whisky, from different distilleries, and does not contain any grain whisky. There is no other blended malt in the Johnnie Walker line-up, their entire standard range now contains a varying proportion of grain whisky.

It is also unique in that it states clearly on the box where the 'key component' malts originate from. To my knowledge, it is the only Johnnie Walker whisky to do so, and not many blended malts can claim this either. These key components are listed as Caol Ila (from Islay), Talisker (The Isle of Skye), Cragganmore (Speyside) and Linkwood (Speyside).

It is also quite unique in that it is (was) bottled at 43%, rather than the standard 40% of the other standard Johnnie Walker expressions. It also carries an age statement, with each malt being at least 15 years old. This really is a well presented malt for the whisky enthusiast, and it's a shame it has now all but disappeared. But, for the sake of reminiscing, let's have a closer look at Green Label.
Johnnie Walker Green Label, blended malt whisky, 43%, 15yo, Scotland.
Chill filtered and Artificially coloured, containing Caol Ila, Talisker, Cragganmore, and Linkwood malts.

(tasted neat)
Colour: Yellow gold

Nose: Sweet honeyed malt, a little smoke and some floral notes. Some oaky sweetness, pepper and a veil of smoke. 

Texture: Silky and clean, easy drinking.

Taste: More malt & honey from the nose, a little floral sweetness, some nice woody smoke and black pepper (Caol Ila and Talisker saying "hi"). Well balanced with very little heat. 

Finish: Honey and pepper, lovely and malty. Could be longer, but not bad!

Score: 4 out of 5 (blend score)

Notes: Definitely my favourite Johnnie Walker whisky, it was great value and very enjoyable. My bottle of Green Label is nearly empty now, but I won't be paying $400+ to replace it! It has become a collector's special at those prices. It was replaced by the 'platinum' 18yo and 'gold label reserve' NAS blended scotches, and while the platinum is quite enjoyable, at a significant jump in price, even it cannot match the complexity and balance of the dearly departed Green Label. 

If you do happen across a bottle of this, and it's at a reasonable price, grab it. You can always sell it on for a massive profit, to someone who will likely never open it. 

Cheers!

P.S. Stay tuned in the next couple of days, I have something very different and very interesting in the pipeline! Watch this space...