Review: Johnnie Walker Green Label

Review: Johnnie Walker Green Label


For a long time Johnnie Walker Green Label was really hard to find — I ended up buying my bottle via mail order, then drinking very little of it. That all changed relatively recently: Now you can buy Green Label at Safeway.

I set out to see what’s up with a good old-fashioned Green Label bender. (OK, a few sample drams… but the bender line sounded better.)

Green Label is a pure or vatted malt — a blend of 15-year-old single malts bottled at 86 proof. The “signature malts” in the blend come from Talisker, Linkwood, Cragganmore, and Caol Ila.

The nose is moderately smoky and peaty, with hints of heather, likely the Caol Ila muscling the other malts out of the way. The body follows through on that promise, a salty shot that follows up with woody notes and a sweet finish of honey. The wood sneaks back in at the tail end of the finish to tease you into that next sip.

Overall I like Green Label quite a bit, but as with many blends (vatted or no) it’s just so busy that it’s a bit like drinking sips from a panel of whiskys at a blind tasting almost at random. I like all the elements here — though the smoke and wood are overplayed — but I wish for a touch more finesse.

86 proof.


Johnnie Walker Green Label




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. J. Lindsey on September 5, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    I’m actually drinking a glass of this right now. Spot on review, as usual, and very delicious scotch. Well done.

  2. Jason's Scotch Whisky Reviews on April 24, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Respectfully, I disagree. I consider Johnnie Walker Green Label to be superior to a number of 10 and 12 year old single malts in the same price point. Which ones? Glenfiddich 12, Glenlivet 12, Glendronach and Auchentoshan. This is a fragrant and immaculate honeyed dram that doesn’t get enough respect.

  3. Clive Gains on December 11, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    I’m not fragrant and immaculate honeyed guy. Do you mean fragrant in NICE Flowers or a BAD perfume? Maybe I should stick with BLACK as the finish does not get any bad comments. I never noticed bad finish in Black. I like it.

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