Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Green with Envy

Still wondering what to get your dad for Christmas? Or perhaps you yourself are unsure of what you want? Well, if you or someone you know is a Scotch fan, I highly recommend getting him or her what will no doubt be a bestseller next year: Johnnie Walker Green Label. That's right, Green.

Only the fifth label to be introduced by Johnnie Walker in almost 200 years, Green Label is a pure malt whiskey resulting from a blend of such notable single malts as Talisker and Cragganmore. Until recently it had only been available in a few markets and knowledge of its existence depended largely on word-of-mouth. But last month, JW's parent company Diageo decided to revamp it and sell it across the country. It's still hard to find, and chances are you won't yet see it at your local liquor store, but you can order it from a few online sites including 877Spirits for a somewhat hefty $88.

Scotch lovers may be wondering where Green falls within the Johnnie Walker family. One Diageo official tells me it comes after Black but before Gold. A few weeks ago, at a Christmas party thrown by one of my fellow Galley Slaves, I had the honor of taste-testing Green Label (thanks to a generous guest who is connected to Johnnie Walker). I would agree it is above Black, with definite hints of peat and smokiness, yet leaving a cleaner, smoother finish. (And no, I am not benefiting in any way from plugging this Scotch--consider it a Public Service Announcement.)


Bert Wiener said...

As long as we're talking scotch, with the greatest calmness and deliberation I must tell you: drop everything and go get a bottle of Balvenie 21-year. A pure refined whiskey taste, more wood than smoke. For about the same price as the JW Green and it is absolutely exquisite.

B.B. said...

Blended is blended. Give me a single malt any day, particularly an Islay like Ardbeg or Laphroaig. I'll take all the peat, smoke, oil, salt, and iodine flavors I can get, thank you.

Bert Wiener said...

I should have mentioned it - all the Balvenie brews are single malt.

Anonymous said...


I know. I was commenting on the Johnny Walker, not the Balvenie. I'd love to try it some time, but I really do prefer the stronger, peatier, smokier whiskies, especially the Islays.