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Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Year Old

Green is Good

6 886

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

18th Jan 2018


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I first tasted Johnnie Walker Green a few years ago. I remember it was pretty good, but when I reviewed the older version it was my B-I-L's bottle and had been open a couple of years at least. That was in 2015 and his bottle is still around, though likely gassed.

This expression has since been re-released for general distribution, and as my palate seems to have developed the ability to appreciate lower ABV whiskies over the last year, I was very curious to see if I might like this version, which s reasonably priced (for Ontario) at the LCBO. I opened this bottle just under a month ago, it is about 80% full, and has been gassed the 2-3 times it has been opened.

This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting. I’m reviewing the JW Island Green simultaneously.

Nose: 22/25

Very fruity. Sweet apples. A hint of over-ripe fruit. Light syrup. Maraschino cherry. Maybe just a wisp of smoke. Pleasant nose. A few drops of water bring out the apples, and it smells “fresher’”.(22.5/25)

Taste: 21/25

First sip is a little bitter and spirity, and a little thin. There’s some sweet fruit. It’s a little hot. The development is a little sour. I get less flavour with each sip. Water rounds out some of the rough edges, making it slightly less spirity. (21.5/25)

Finish: 20/25

Not long. Pepper, slightly astringent. Unremarkable. Slightly longer with water.(21/25)

Balance: 20/25

The palate does not realize the promise of a very pleasant nose. A little too bitter, and unidimentional. Slightly more balanced with water. (21/25)

Score: Neat - 83/100 With Water: 86 /100

Of course, who can resist mixing the leftover Green with the Island Green? The result is a similar nose but surprisingly richer flavour, kind of halfway in terms of the profiles, but less thin on the mouthfeel. I’d probably score this closer to 88-89.

This is not a bad sipper. If I want something fruity and uncomplicated, like sitting in front of the fire (on channel 204) and reading, I may turn to it. It’s not one that I will stockpile (I know I have an earlier batch put away) and I would not replace it if I were trying to reign in my purchases. I will likely have this bottle around for a few years though, and it will be interesting to see how time treats it now that it is open.

I’d love to see this at 46%.

Related Johnnie Walker reviews


MadSingleMalt commented

I only ever had this a few times while out, but I always liked it. 86 sounds about right to me too. It's the whisky I'll always look for on the menu of a joint that has a decent (but not a crazy) whisky selection.

It's always held up by whisky nuts as the JW that's worth drinking, due almost entirely to its all-malt content. But the underappreciated perk is the 15-year age statement. Heck yeah! It's got some 15-year Talisker & Caol Ila and whatever else?—I'm sold.

And yeah, this at 46% would be some great stuff.

(P.S. I know you're a stickler, so FYI, it's "rein.")

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

@MadSingleMalt Actually, I'm aiming to be the king of purchasers. I want the average score of my purchases this year to be 90 or higher. So if I want to "reign" in my purchases this year, I can't buy the JW Green...


about one year ago 2Who liked this?

Victor commented

I have been through 1 bottle of the original Johnnie Walker Green Label, minus one or two decanted samples. I thought that the flavour early after opening was fantastic, but was disappointed by it in comparison after it had take a couple of years of air time. Air seemed to flatten it out, making it less distinct in its flavours. I have one more unopened bottle of it purchased 6 years ago and when I eventually get around to opening it I will decant it quickly into smaller bottles to limit air effects.

I have not tasted either the later release Green Label or the Island Green Label.

Thanks for your review, @Nozinan.

about one year ago 0

RianC commented

I had a bottle of this last year and would totally agree with that review. I found mine had quite a bit of peat on the nose and was very fruity - the nose was excellent, actually. The finish did let it down.

Bought another in the sale and will be interested to see if the quality has stayed up.

about one year ago 0

Hewie commented

I've not had this. I've considered it a few times but considering that it sells for about the same as some decent single malts I haven't gone there. Reading this I'm happy with that decision. I thought there may have been a bit more smoke in there - disappointing to hear that's not the case. I guess the Brand and '15 Years' age statement is attractive to many punters out there.

about one year ago 0

RianC commented

@Hewie - It's often sold for £30 here in the supermarkets and at that price well worth a look.

It's decent enough and well put together. I'd also say I got more peat than @Nozinan seems to have done, but maybe one to try first.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

Well, I've certainly succeeded in "reign"ing in my purchases. All of the Scotches I have bought since this review I would score 95 or higher...

Yep.... all ZERO of them joy

about one year ago 0

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