Most of the whisky tastings I did in my early years of talking whisky involved the Johnnie Walker range of whiskies. When we did events, I chose to present from the Johnnie Green stand. Not Blue, not Black, but Green. Why? Because as much as I love Black, the Green gave me the opportunity to share the stories of several single malts – Talisker, Caol Ila, Linkwood & Cragganmore – the lead malts in the legendary 15 year old blended malt whisky. Also, because second to Black, it is my favourite of the range.
There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when Johnnie Green was discontinued. I understood the reasons – quite simply, there was not enough 15 year old whiskies around to keep the blend consistent. That’s the thing with whisky, it needs time in the barrel. Don’t rush the process. Prices of Green hit the roof and I heard of bottles going for close on R 2000. I heard of people buying what they could at R 1500 a bottle, for eventual resale.
Thankfully common sense prevailed (and there is enough 15 year old whisky) and Johnnie Green has returned – at a very fair price. Whisky is for drinking, people. Invest if you want, but buy to drink.
Here is the official press release.
I’ll see you at the store;)
“JOHNNIE WALKER GREEN LABEL BLENDED MALT SCOTCH WHISKY IS BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND
Johnnie Walker, the number one Scotch whisky in the world, is reintroducing its much-loved blended malt Scotch whisky because of popular demand.
Johnnie Walker Green Label is crafted from malt whiskies from classic distilleries across Scotland that have been matured for a minimum of 15 years. Since 2012 its sales had been restricted but Johnnie Walker said it was bringing the blend back into its range in South Africa as well as globally.
Marketing Manager for the Reserve Portfolio at Diageo; Vongani Chinkanda said: “Johnnie Walker Green Label has always had a following and we have listened to our consumers and are responding to popular demand to reintroduce the blend and we’re thrilled to be able to respond to that. Johnnie Walker Green Label is an exceptional whisky which is a tribute to the craftsmanship of our blenders and their great skill in selecting and blending malt whiskies to deliver a rich, multi-dimensional and balanced flavour profile.”
Johnnie Walker Green Label is a blend of only malt whiskies, with no grain whisky content. It is crafted from a palette of Speyside, Highland, Lowland and Island malts, delivering all the character of a single malt whisky, but with a greater depth and wider flavour experience.
The unique flavour profile of Johnnie Walker Green Label is a result of the careful balancing of four key signature styles, represented by Talisker, Linkwood, Cragganmore and Caol Ila.
Jim Beveridge, Johnnie Walker Master Blender, said: “The challenge of Johnnie Walker Green Label is to have a wide flavour spectrum from malts matured for at least 15 years in American and European Oak, ensuring that those flavours really complement each other and work in harmony to create a blend of great complexity which, at its heart, is true to the Johnnie Walker style of big and bold flavours with a signature smokiness.
“Crafting this blend is all about making the aromas more pronounced and vibrant, allowing us to shape a blend that has the depth of character which just isn’t possible from one malt whisky alone.”
Johnnie Walker Green Label has won a string of international awards including Double Gold and Best Blended Scotch at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in both 2006 and 2007.
Johnnie Walker Green Label will be available during May 2016 with a recommended retail price of R649. 95 for a bottle. Look out for it in stores from around 16 May.”