Johnnie Walker: An Overview of the Core Range

Brand: Johnnie Walker
Est: 1820
Country: Scotland
My Favourites: Green Label, Black Label

A lot of people wonder about the different Johnnie Walker colours, so I decided to write this short post.

I have had the opportunity to become familiar with the Johnnie Walker core range, which is distinguished by its “colours” starting with the entry level red label, then black label and the double black label, then green label, then gold label reserve, then platinum label and then blue label. Johnnie Walker does have other whiskies in their range, including the Swing, Blue Label King George V, The John Walker etc. This post will focus on its core range.

RED LABEL ($33 in Australia) is the entry level Johnnie Walker. I have reviewed a vintage red label, but have still not sat down to review a modern sample. I am keen to see whether there has been much of a different over time.

BLACK LABEL ($40 in Australia) is a level up from red label, and it has a more distinct smokiness with some notes of peat and shimmers of sweetness. This is my second favourite in the Johnnie Walker core range. It is aged for 12 Years. You can see my review here: Johnnie Walker Black Label.

DOUBLE BLACK ($60 in Australia) is a new Johnnie Walker whisky, that is smokier and boasts more peat flavour than the black label. You can see my review here: Johnnie Walker Double Black.

GREEN LABEL ($70 in Australia) is unique, in that it is the only whisky in the Johnnie Walker range to be comprised only of malt whisky (as opposed to malt and grain whisky), which means that it is a “vatted” malt or malt blend. The green label is by far my favourite Johnnie Walker. It is comprised of whiskies that have been aged for at least 15 years. The green label is being phased out, and some say being replaced by the gold label reserve. You can see my review here: Johnnie Walker Green Label.

GOLD LABEL RESERVE ($75 in Australia) is the next level in the range, though some say this is replacing the green label. It is based on whisky from Clynelish, and has no age statement. You can see my review where: Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve.

PLATINUM LABEL ($100-$120 in Australia) is the new 18 year old Johnnie Walker with an oily texture and bursting with citrus and butterscotch. You can find my review here: Johnnie Walker Platinum. 

BLUE LABEL ($170 in Australia) is the pinnacle of the Johnnie Walker range, and the sample I reviewed was sensationally smooth on the palate though – in my opinion – I was more impressed with the Green Label. You can see my full review here: Johnnie Walker Blue Label. 

Prices are correct at the time of publishing, as at 3 May 2013. 

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