Posted by: Mooresy
Johnnie Walker Green Label is – or I should say was – a bit of an anomaly in the family. Unlike the others which are all blends including grain and non-malt whiskies, Green was a blended malt made up of only four whiskies, all single malts. This gave it the quality of arriving like a blend then developing on the palate more like a single malt. It’s nose complexity was also more akin to a single malt, and the better noses out there could probably pick the distilleries involved from the smell.
I happen to know what they were, but so as not to spoiler, you’ll have to ask me.
An elegy for Johnnie Green
Though caramel brown, your label was Green
With flavoured malt so crisp and clean
A complex coffee fruity smell
Vanilla and nuttiness went down well
The taste had cereals, chocolate and nuts
Not sharp or heavy but you sure had guts
A finish strong with walnuts and honey
Of Johnnie’s varieties you were worth the money
One day the factory shut you down
Scotch lovers everywhere gave a frown
No more would we have our favourite blend
A standout nip, a lifelong friend
Now we’re confined to Black and Red
That burns our nose and hurts our head
There’s lots of fine drams out there today
And where there’s a Walker there’s a will and a way
But for now we must simply say farewell
You were a classic, a legend and we think that you’re swell
Now a rare and hard to find malt, Green is consigned to the archive of Johnnie Walker’s bond store along with the Gold Label 18 (they’ve removed the age statement for the current variant) and the elusive Johnnie Walker White Label which I have never tasted. If you find a sealed bottle of Green, you may want to hold onto it for its value but I would strongly encourage you to pop the cork and taste a true exception to the rule. If you spot a half open bottle on a friend’s shelf or in a dark musty pub, encourage the friend to crack it at a party or buy it shot by shot from the wizened landlord.
If you are a single-malt snob who sees the word blended and runs a mile from the likes of Green and the very delicious Blue Hanger, thank you. More for the rest of us.
Find out about the rest of our multi-coloured adventures: