We here at the Buffalo Lounge love our Scotch, we’ve enjoyed Blue Label and hope to one day review it (future note: we did), and Black Label is something DJ_Lvl has bought now and again. So we though well, Gold Label is a bit pricey, is there a good middle ground here. (future note: turns out Double Black was what we wanted)
I’d like to say that Green Label is great (note: unlike JD, Green is a higher label to Black rather than lower) or at least it’s supposed to be. I mean when a scotch from the same line costs $25 more I’d expect a $25 increase in taste. The problem here is that while Black Label is at least distinctive, this feels like they’ve gone and tried to mellow it in an attempt to improve it. I’m going to spoil it here, but this scored worse than Black Label besides aroma and smoothness.
This comes off as a meant to be better whisky, but in reality it’s just a mellow black label, and we don’t care for that. We were expecting a complex whisky, something of note and worthy of the higher label. We were disappointed, and that’s what really sets the tone for Green Label – we don’t think it’s disgusting, it’s sure not awful, and as a blended whisky it’s okay.
During the review William the IV made the point that if we had tried Green Label first we would have thought of it as fairly good, and would have just made us really like Black Label more. (Aka rather than this be disappointing because of Black, Black is just better because it’s better than Green).
Now while there’s truth in that, it just means that we’d still recommend Black Label, and in that respect it seals the coffin on Green Label, it doesn’t wow you in taste or manliness, and it’s an awful value. Even their literature isn’t stellar being low on wank, yet we know from Blue that JW will wax on about good aspects of their whisky, and the lack of any here signals more an inability to mention it’s good points than a reserved speech. They devote more space talking about the whiskies going into JWG and how these factors contribute to the whisky.
What they say:
“Johnnie Walker Green Label is a blended malt scotch whisky, created from whiskies of the most intense aromas. Island and speyside malts are combined together to create a perfectly balanced scotch whisky evoking freshness and smoke with the signature smoothness of Johnnie Walker.”
“Talisker (Estd. 1830): The Power
Wood smoke, pepper, oak and rich friuts resonate from this malt courtesy of Skye’s only distillery. Talisker introduces a power and character that explodes on the palate.
Linkwood (Estd. 1821): The Finesse
A distinctive Speyside malt whisky that provides Green Label with a whole garden of fruit and flower scents and a cedar wood finish.
Cragganmore (Estd. 1869): The Heart
Responsible for Green Label’s exceptional malty taste and hints of sweet wood smoke and sandalwood, Cragganmore is a sweet and fragrant Speyside whisky.
Caol Ila (Estd. 1846): The Mystery
This special malt, Islay’s best kept secret, provides notes of rich fruit with drying sea salt and peat smoke contributing to the natural intensity of Green Label.”
Now normally if this was blended perfectly as they say it’d be great. It’d be like knowing the 4 scotches that come together to form Captain Planet. However here it just seems a lackluster effort overall and honestly makes me want to try these single malts on their own instead.
Taste: 7.4 – We like the initial taste. It’s a nice solid taste. We really like the sweet kick to it.
Aftertaste: 6.8 – It’s very reminiscent of Black Label. So it has the linger and smoke to it, but the smoke is brief for a scotch, and the lingering taste isn’t the best.
Burn/Smooth: 6.8 – It is fairly smooth. It’s not a really great warmness because it’s shadowed by the lingering taste. Lee’s on Splash Mountain.
Aroma: 7.25 – Smells like a mild black label, a nice smoky flavor.
Honesty: 7.9 – It’s got that Johnnie Walker, and it’s standard JW wank (could be worse), but it does start going on about other scotches. It’s got the classy labeling, boxing and such. It just isn’t doing much else though. I mean it lacks the association Black or Blue label carries; this is the quiet child.
On Rocks: 7.125 – It doesn’t improve it that much beside making it a bit smoother.
Rusty Nail: 7.5 – It makes a good rusty nail.
Value: 2.5 – I could think of a bunch of other scotches to go for 60 bucks. And Black Label is 33 dollars.
Google Shop Average: $57
William Henri Neve the IV: 6
King Weeb: 6.5
Metric Score: 45.96/70 |+| Metric Average: 6.57 |+| Reviewer Average: 6.3
It is sadly disappointing for the price point, it’s a good whisky, but it’s not good enough to warrant buying it. We’re not angry with Green Label, we’re just disappointed.