Monday, August 7, 2017

Whisky Review: Johnnie Walker Green Label

Johnnie Walker Green Label

Blended Malt.

Age Statement
15 years


750 ml

Cork stopper.

Nose (undiluted)
Splendid!  Luxuriant!  Floral!  Bouquet of apple and cherrie blossoms.  Nice honey sweetness.

Palate (undiluted)
Honey, peanut brittle, marzipan and baklava with a swirl of peat, dark red sherry and a flourish of smoke. Delightful briny water and peat (Talisker and Caol Ila for sure!) flourishes against the honey background.

Finish (undiluted)
Long.  Lingering subtle waves of sweet peat that mingle with Swiss milk chocolate.  Nice accents of black pepper, Kosher salt and bergamot teas.

Green Label, a blend of four great single malts, is superior to a lot of 10 and 12 year old single malts out there on the market.  Do not fear the 'blended malt' moniker somehow being inferior to 'single malt.'  Cragganmore and Linkwood are honey and syrup like malts that pair with the peat, lemon zest and surf brine of Caol Ila and Talisker.  These are all great single malts on their own, and when combined together here, deliver a complex and delightful taste.

When they relaunched Green Label in 2016, the bottling I had was rather flat in taste.  Just a boring honey Speyside style.  Now, a year later, it appears the Master Blender and team have spiced things up with what I suspect is a lot more Talisker and Caol Ila in the mix.  Vast improvement.

Highly recommended!


Jason Debly


  1. Interesting comments Jas.... BIG turnaround from last review. Has it improved that much?
    I've gone right off the JW Black... too watery'...
    The price on the Lower JW range bounces up and down like a basketball going up and back on a court.... crazy stuff... the green price is down both blacks are up......Anyway... I made a pact with myself... When it comes back down to a half decent price, I'll buy a bottle.... It's dropped by around $15 to $69. (700ml bottle)... Can't see it going any lower... I'll try it. Hey...What's the price over your neck of the woods?
    AL (from OZ)

  2. It really has improved dramatically.

    I think the Master Blender and team tinkered with the blend following the re-launch and fixed the problem. Tastes very complex and delightful now. I paid $79. No regrets. Highly recommend!

  3. I'm very pleased to see you return to reviewing proper whisky again! Thanks for the insight.

  4. Thanks for posting this, Jason! A few months ago I found a dusty bottle of the old Green Label at a small independent shop and figured that was the last of the "good" Green I'd ever see. It's good to know that JW/Diageo must still take some pride in their product.

    Paul M.

  5. Hi, writing from Austria/Europe: As far as I remember, they relaunched GL already earlier than 2016 in Europe. And the first batch was not so good - as you described. But already in Summer 2016 I bought a bottle of the new filling, which tasted exactly as described above by Jason. This "new" GL is indeed a very old school blended whisky with all the great complexity that only a blend can offer! I finished the bottle during my summer holidays on the seaside 2016 quite quickly, and was very much disappointed by some Single Malts afterwards and until today.... They just can`t compete with a good blend like GL...

    1. Blended malts really punch above their weight! Glad you agree.

      Have a great summer!

  6. Don't know if my comment last night went through.... So here we go again. I was tasting as I typed: Nose ... Floral, blossoms, honey .. possible ginger. unless my nose got too close? Taste: Honey, sherry, smoke. Finish: chocolate then salty...and a little smoke... .Yeah... a very nice one this...
    AL (from OZ)

    1. Yes, it is really good again. I should have emphasized in the video review that you can taste the Talisker and Caol Ila mixed with the honeyed toast. Great stuff!