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