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Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Year Old

Honey and Peat

4 683

@RianCReview by @RianC

11th May 2018

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    83

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This is a very recent bottling with the changed packaging in the UK (giving more alcohol info.) which isn't quite as classy as the most recent incarnation imo. There was no bottling date that I could find . . .

Anyways, I've a soft spot for JW, especially the Black Label, as it was probably the whisky which got me really into the world of 'maltyness', or is that blendyness - you get the idea! Last had a Green Label over two years ago from one of the newly released batches. It was good, if a little flat on the finish but recall it having a lovely nose. So, how's the quality fairing three years on?

Review is from a neat pour and the bottle has been open about six weeks with just over three quarters left

Nose - It was all peat at first but there is more honey and sweetness coming through now. Still a good nip of peat though and I'm leaning more towards the Talisker than Caol Ila but I have been drinking more Talisker of late so who knows? Some grassyness and a hint of coffee infused malt. Sandalwood, some fresh ginger and pine resin. Certainly less engaging than I remember the last bottle being.

Taste - A surprisingly malty arrival given the nose with the peat emerging and taking over. More honey and some lemon sweetness. Mouthfeel is adequate if a little on the thinner side.

Finish - Short to medium length. Sour with a touch of (sandal)wood bitterness and peaty tang.

As you may guess I'm not enjoying this quite as much as the last bottle. It seems as if they've really ramped up the peatyness at the expense of some of the complexity (I heard similar complaints about the new batches compared to the older bottles pre-discontinuation funnily enough . . .). Time has helped this and I imagine will keep doing so. I have a bottle from about two years ago in the stash and am tempted to do a head to head but won't (sorry!). I do wonder if the first few batches released were of a slightly better quality than the more recent ones? Wouldn't surprise me.

Still, it's a decent dram and perhaps one of those whiskys better suited to idle sipping or a session rather than deep contemplation. I imagine it was always designed for the former anyway . . .

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6 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

Interesting. Did I read that the distilleries have changed for JW Green Label? If so, expect that the product will be substantially different. What I liked best about the JW Green from 7 years ago was the delicious maltiness which I attributed to the Linkwood fraction. I am not even sure that there is any Linkwood malt left in it at this point.

7 months ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

@Victor - They still state that the four main components are Linkwood, Cragganmore, Caol Ila and Talisker but I suspect there's less of the Speysiders in this batch for sure. It's good but lacking something form my last bottle - I think that may well be it.

7 months ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

I thought they always said something slippery about "key malts" or the like—something that hinted at a recipe but gave them wiggle room to use whatever malts they wanted.

7 months ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

More peatiness? I may have to get a bottle. Your disappointment may be my pleasure ! smiley Thanks for the review.

7 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Frost
Frost commented

I was mindful of this comment thread last night - at a whisky event.

I asked the JW rep about the JW Green recipe being the same, or different, since the phase out and introduction. He stated that since it remained in Taiwan for the entire period the recipe remained the same. By coincidence I was in Taiwan when it was deleted for most of the world and indeed saw it and drank a 200ml bottle. I digress, he confirmed what is stated above - the 4 main distilleries remain the core, and the final component is lesser contributions of malts unlisted.

7 months ago 2Who liked this?

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