Johnnie Walker Green Label and Island Green Label
Johnnie Walker Green Label is a blended malt whisky which was pulled out of the market in 2012 due to non-availability of certain core single malt whiskies. It has reappeared on the shelves in mid-2016, but with a different nose and palate, a change for the better. In creating the Green Label, Jim Beveridge, the Johnnie Walker Master Blender, set out to craft a whisky with a taste experience which can’t be found in any one single malt whisky. His vast knowledge of Scotland’s malts helped him decide on a balance of Speyside, Highland and Lowland malts and more intense whiskies from the Scottish islands, each of them carefully matured for a minimum of 15-years in American and European oak casks.
The unique flavour of Johnnie Walker Green Label is a delicate blend of four key signature styles, represented by Talisker, Linkwood, Cragganmore and Caol Ila. The individual characteristics of these mature malt whiskies are perfectly balanced to bring together intense aromas of crisp cut grass, fresh fruit, wood smoke, peat, pepper, deep vanilla, and sandalwood. It creates a depth of character that just isn’t possible to achieve with one malt whisky alone. Minor gaps, if any, are plugged by Clynelish and Dailuane.
Johnnie Walker Island Green, available from July 2016 as a 1L 86 proof NAS travel retail exclusive, is a brand that owner Diageo is hailing as a ‘true game changer for the Scotch whisky category’. With a greater proportion of malt from Caol Ila distillery on Islay, Johnnie Walker Island Green Label is said to have a ‘rich, fruity sweetness’ that’s complemented by pronounced flavours of peat smoke. It is a much smokier version of the 15 YO JW Green Label, which itself has reemerged from the boondocks in a very pleasant avatar. Beveridge says: ‘As whisky makers, we’re passionate about flavour, and creating this exclusive travel retail variant of our blended malt whisky has given us an opportunity to showcase a rare blend of rich malts.’ The NAS maritime blended malt includes whisky from Clynelish, Glenkinchie and Cardhu and a greater proportion of malt from Caol Ila distillery on Islay. Minor gaps, if any, are plugged by Talisker, a Singleton 12 YO and Dailuane.