Whisky Connosr

Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Year Old

Green is Good

6 886

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

18th Jan 2018


Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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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.

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%.

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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.")

6 years 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...


6 years 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.

6 years 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.

6 years 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.

6 years 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.

6 years 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

6 years ago 0