Review: Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Years Old
Category: Blended scotch malt whisky
Cost: £40 from Master of Malt
What they say:
Johnnie Walker Green Label is back, and this time it’s here to stay. Crafted from a palette of Speyside, Highland, Lowland and Island malts and matured for at least 15 years, it delivers all the character of a single malt whisky, but with a greater depth of flavour. Johnnie Walker Green Label is a truly unique blend to savour whilst you sit-back and unwind.
The unique flavour of Johnnie Walker Green Label is a delicate blend of four key signature styles, represented by Talisker, Linkwood, Cragganmore and Caol Ila.
The individual characteristics of these mature malt whiskies are perfectly balanced to bring together intense aromas of crisp cut grass, fresh fruit, wood smoke, pepper, deep vanilla, and sandalwood. It creates a depth of character that just isn’t possible to achieve with one malt whisky alone.
In creating Johnnie Walker Green Label, Jim Beveridge, the Johnnie Walker Master Blender, set out to craft a whisky with a taste experience which can’t be found in any one single malt whisky. Jim’s extraordinary knowledge of Scotland’s malts helped him decide on a balance of Speyside, Highland and Lowland malts and more intense whiskies from the Scottish islands, each of them carefully matured for a minimum of 15-years in American and European oak casks.
What I say:
A blended (or vatted) malt, differing from blended scotch whisky and the other colour label Johnnie Walker bottlings by having no grain whisky in the mix. Discontinued globally in 2012 until 2016 when Green Label 15 Years Old was re-released. During our sample session we had examples bottled in 2004, 2008 and the latest 2016 expression. One of them certainly stood out, whilst all three had the same basic taste the two older bottlings had a brightness and vibrancy I certainly wouldn’t attribute to bottle ageing. Green Label may be back but I suspect the shortage of whatever caused it to be discontinued may have been replaced with something similar but not quite the same…
Dark amber gold (11/20), slow medium-sized tears leave medium legs
Summer fruits, red berries, floral, creamy, sweet, spiced nutmeg, caramel & toffee, butterscotch, cereal malted barley, a touch of peat smoke, gristy & oaty biscuits, honey, hob nob biscuits, instant/cool whip
Sweet & creamy, whipped vanilla cream, light caramel sauc, crème brulee with lots of orange oil/peel, malty, creamy toffee, coffee made with evaporated or powdered milk/overly creamy?
Medium, toffee, honey, some spice, drying, nutmeg
Full of Chantilly cream and red berries – I actually like this one better than the Blue Label. Also Pre 2016 bottlings had a brightness and exuberance about them (fresh cut grass and freshness to the fruit) not quite found in the 2016 version.
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