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Johnnie Walker Gold Label 18 Year Old

Golden Muesli

0 1680

@OJKReview by @OJK

12th Oct 2010

0

  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    80

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Nose, Taste, Finish and Balance are graded out of 2.5 each:

Nose: Hints of chestnut, coated in wood-polish. Some apple and dried banana mingle in between almond flakes and honeyed raisins, all murmuring to a sweet and even peaty tune. Subtle yet quietly complex. 2.0

Taste: Aniseed and almonds roll smoothly over the tongue, pulling behind them raisins and honey drenched oats. All of these ingredients come together to create a luscious muesli, richly infused with some charcoal-smoked banana and wood-chippings. 2.0

Finish: The smoked almonds are now swimming in a mildly sweet radish juice, giving off peaty fumes of oats and barley, with soft toffee and vanilla notes giving a complex weight to the finish. 2.0

Balance: The Johnnie Walker range is quite a dynasty, with not a weak whisky amongst them. Quite the opposite in fact - you could have the full range alone in your cabinet and be fairly satisfied for any occasion. That said, their hierarchy within the dynasty seems slightly unbalanced, in that I would personally not rate the Gold Label higher than the Black Label, and I would certainly rate the Green Label above both of them, yet I would place the Blue Label below the Gold. This slightly confusing phrasing will be better explained through a full reviewing of each member of the dynasty, however it all goes to show you can't judge a label by its colour. All that aside though, and one must judge a whisky on its individual merits, and this Golden number is a very fine blend indeed, a soothing and subtly complex dram that is never anything less than pleasantly stimulating company. 2.0

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16 comments

@CharlieDavis
CharlieDavis commented

Thanks for this review--I'd just been considering picking up a bottle. Your notes were really appeaing, but I'm intrigued by your reference to the Green Label, I've been interested in that one too. I'd love to see your review of Green if you have a bottle before decide...

9 years ago 0

@OJK
OJK commented

Hi @Charlie Davis, thanks for the comment - I am definitely hoping to have reviews of the full Johnnie Walker range up on my profile soon, sadly though the Green Label isn't yet listed on the site so will most likely wait until it is. That all said, I can tell you that I find it a richer and smoother blend than the Gold Label (this will have no doubt have a lot to do with the fact that it is a pure blended malt, rather than a straight blend, thus giving it a smoother and more weighty quality). If I was to speculate my rating of it I would imagine it would be towards a 9. And given that it's cheaper than the Gold Label, I would strongly recommend buying Green over Gold. Hope that helps!

9 years ago 0

@PaulT
PaulT commented

I know this isn't something you would usually do with a whisky, but Gold Label is very, very nice when served icecold. Put the bottle in the freezer for about 24h. When drunk, you'll taste a different Gold Label, but trust me, it's great. Doesn't seem to affect the liquid either when you take the bottle out off the freezer again.

9 years ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

IMO, of the five current JW offerings the Black and Green are the best bangs for your buck. Black Label is still the benchmark for 12 yr. old blends and Green Label is very underrated and as good or better than many more expensive single malts. Ballantine's, Teachers, Cutty Sark and Bell's are far better standard issue blends than Red Label. As for Gold and Blue; nowhere near worth the money. I'll second OJK: go for the Green.

9 years ago 0

@OJK
OJK commented

@PaulT.: Very intriguing suggestion! I must say, I drink whisky quite religiously at room temperature, but am certainly up for giving it a try! Many thanks for the tip

@BlueNote: I have to say I agree entirely with each of your comments. Blue label is indeed very poor value for money (despite being a very nice blend), and Green Label really doesn't have the recognition it deserves. For me it is the jewel in the Johnnie Walker crown.

9 years ago 0

@PaulT
PaulT commented

I think you'll like it for a change. It's not an idea of my own, it's an idea of Johnnie Walker. Frozen Gold is what they call it. I bought a special Frozen Gold edition of Gold Label in Greece. The bottle came with a beautiful box with two special thin glasses, specially made for this way of drinking GL. The instruction note said the bottle should be in the freezer for about 24h. About 30 minutes before taking out the bottle, the glasses are meant to be put in the freezer as well. Then, as you take 'em out, the glasses become misty, which looks great with the golden liquid. Drinking this way of GL brings one disadvantage: the nose becomes very vague due to the low temperature of the liquid.

Try it and let me know what you think of it.

9 years ago 0

@AboutChoice
AboutChoice commented

I have tried Glenmorangie chilled in the freezer, and then even with a couple drops of lemon juice ... a very intriquing novelty indeed!

9 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Thanks for the heads up on the Green label. I think that I will pick up a bottle today. I have found the Black Label consistently excellent for the 35 years since I first tasted it and it was my first favorite whisky. I bought a bottle of Red Label 20 years ago, though, that was so foul that I will not trust to buy a bottle again even today, when most say that it is of good quality.

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Does anyone know the four malts which comprise the Johnny Walker Green Label? I did just buy a bottle and I love it.

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Answered my own question: Talisker, Cragganmore, Linkwood, and Caol Ila.

8 years ago 0

@jwise
jwise commented

Black label is no longer in my cabinet, but I have been through a number of bottles over the years (some given as gifts to my father-in-law). Very decent whisky, and I'm not insulted if someone wants to dilute it, drink it on ice, or even mix it.

The Red label I had once at a wedding, where that was the only scotch whisky they were serving. It was not good. Not that I didn't drink it, but I didn't get another one! I switched to bourbon and did well.

I have samples of the Blue and Gold label in my cabinet, as well as an unopened bottle of the Green label. I am looking forward to tasting these whiskies! I have heard great things about the Green label and its value for the money.

8 years ago 0

@OJK
OJK commented

Hi @Victor, am very happy you weren't disappointed with the Green Label! Thank you also for the info on the four malts that are in it, I didn't actually know myself and now makes a lot of sense upon re-tasting it.

@jwise, I would find a good excuse to open your bottle of Green Label as soon as you can! It will hopefully restore your faith in Johnnie Walker following your run-in with the Red Label!

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@jwise, I am with @OJK on this one. The Johnnie Walker Green Label is really lovely whisky, and I do like it even better than the Black Label. Why wait?

8 years ago 0

@jwise
jwise commented

The wait is over. I opened it the other night and REALLY enjoyed it! I posted a review of it on this site. Check it out!

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@jwise, and yes, sorry I had forgotten that I had already read your review of the JW Green Label and had the conversation about personal grading systems. I am glad that you liked the Green Label.

8 years ago 0

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