Johnnie Walker Green Label

Sometimes, drinking whisky isn’t just about the whisky.

This was reiterated recently with the latest Johnnie Walker advertisement. The spot speaks for itself. This is the first time I’ve ever wept after watching someone sell me whisky.

Caption: I only hope that you enjoy Green or Blue Label when I pass, my dear brothers.

The video serves as the perfect segue into my review of Johnnie Walker Green Label.

Johnnie Walker Green Label 

Color: Golden. Like Pilsner Gold. But a full flavored Pilsner, not light beer. 

Nose: Beautiful malted barley. Oak. Sherry oak. Plums, almonds, sherry, dates. Complex as hell. Medium in intensity. 

Tongue: Smooth Highland malted-floral notes. Almonds. Vanilla. Marzipan. Medium smoke. 

Finish: Smoke more present in the finish. Creamy. Vanilla cake frosting.

The first time I had Johnnie Walker Green Label was in Atlantic City, New Jersey. With Vic.

Vic was the father of my friend, Kim. The first and only time I met him was with my girlfriend, Hillary. We all went to visit him a few years ago.

Vic was a man from another era. His parents had owned and operated the hotel that is now called the Chelsea in Atlantic City. Teplitzky’s Restaurant still operates there and is named in the family’s honor.

He was full of stories. Damned good stories. The man was blessed with the gift of gab. Throughout the night, he shared stories about traveling to Panama and meeting Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno. And about what Atlantic City was like in the 70s and 80s (hint: it was f-cking nuts).

The trip was especially poignant to me because it was my first introduction to Super-Premium Whisky. As you can see, it was kind of life-altering.

Vic had a bottle of Johnnie Walker Green Label that he was more than generous with. In fact, each time I poured, he reminded me how inadequate the standard 2-oz. measure was. “I’m pretty sure I paid for it, so make sure it’s a healthy pour.”

Unfortunately, Vic passed shortly after our memorable night. I would’ve loved to have had more time to hang out. I’m sure he was full of hundreds of more stories. Stories that I’m looking forward to hearing on the other side.

So here’s to Vic. I can’t have a dram of Green Label without thinking of him. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Article by akendeall

Aaron is a whiskey writer, brand ambassador and distiller based in Pittsburgh, Pa., who has been working in the spirits industry since 2013.