Whisky Review: Johnnie Walker Island Green

Style: Sweet and Smoky

Nose:

Fresh ginger and pine opening, followed by a good dose of ester, yellow fruits. Hickory smoke lunges forward and we are offered plenty of youthful Caol Ila here… Down a level there’s mossy peat, lemon cup cakes, chilli heat casually switching on and off.

Palate:

Bold, sweet fruits and barbeque smoke entwined together nicely at the front palate. Feels like a big, fat layer of tropical fruits agar jelly shielding a stronger-than-usual coal fire peat. Every sip of coconut cream comes with an ashy back palate. Bonfire and lemon custard tart forming a steady under layer. Forest greens, plenty of white peppercorns come with a small wave of chilli heat teasing at the back.

Finish:

Ester fruits taking a step back while the coal smoke continues to take the lime light at the front. Quite good.

Thoughts:

Although it is bottled under the Green label, the malt components are actually different than the general one. Island Green is a blend of Glenkinchie, Caol Ila, Clynelish and Cardhu (While the general Green label is consisted of Linkwood, Talisker, Cragganmore and Caol Ila), so you might expect the expression to be a bit different, and so it is. A young blend no doubt, I feel there is more peated Caol Ila involved to give extra smokiness to the spirit, while the additional sweetness (I suspect it’s Cardhu) is utilized to buffer the peat and the others to balance the spirit. A simple but elegant interpretation, I like it. Very approachable for people who haven’t tried smoky whiskies but want to give it a go.

✓ [Recommend if you like the style/ distillery]

[43% • Circa 2016 • Blended Malt Scotch Whisky • No Age Statement • Travel Retail Exclusive • t+]

-Esmond

Thanks Simon for the bottle, you are a legend!