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Green Label vs Glenlivet 15: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Johnnie Walker Green Label vs Glenlivet 15 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Whisky is better for You!

Johnnie Walker Green Label

johnnie-walker-green-label
NoseCoffee, smoke, chocolate, oak
PalateDates, walnuts, barley, coffee
FinishLong, caramel, spice, oak
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toBlue Label, Gold Label

The nose has an espresso coffee aroma, along chocolate, oak and a tad of smoke and iodine, making it quite pleasant.

On the palate, the Green Label has a medium body. First taste is sweet and smooth, rich in dates, walnuts, malt, more coffee to it and a mineral note.

The finish is long and mostly sweet, light on the smoke and just a bit of oak spice..

The Green Label is one of my favorites.

It is smooth and mellow with a bit of smoke on the palate, and spice on the finish, and then the hint of peat comes back right at the end. Nice balance in body, alcohol and peat.

Overall, the Green Label is a delicious dram with great combination of smokiness, sweetness and flavor, neither a peat monster nor a sherry bomb and much less a fruity dessert dram. 

In my opinion the best Johnny Walker whisky for the money. Green Label is what I call the “insider pick” and the best Johnnie Walker for the money.

What makes this whisky particularly interesting is that this is not a single malt but a blend of single malts.

You can’t call it a single malt according to the laws that govern Scotch whisky but let’s call it an “unofficial single malt”.

There are a few facts worth knowing about this Scotch.

  • The blend contains malts from some of the finest distilleries such as Caol ila, Talisker, Linkwood and Cragganmore.

  • The whiskies in the blend were aged for at least 15 years.

Glenlivet 15 French Oak Reserve

glenlivet-15
NoseVanilla, orange peel, caramel
PalateNutty flavor, caramel, vanilla, oak spice
FinishLong, oak, almond
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toGlenfiddich 15, Macallan 15

The Glenlivet 15 offers a nice sweet aroma with hints of vanilla and caramel, along a bit of citrus peel.

On the mouth it feels creamy providing a good mouthfeel. Flavor is smooth and rich in caramel and vanilla, with a noticeable nutty hint and a pleasant hit of oak spice, with nothing overwhelming or off-putting.

The finish is where this malt shines as it has smooth and lingering flavors with some nice oak and spicy hints and pleasing warmth on the tail.

The Glenlivet 15 offers good value within the Glenlivet family as it is an improvement over its 12 YO sibling and is even better than the 18YO.

Those two are overly smooth but quite boring, frankly. The 15 YO is a smooth and yet flavorful malt, striking a nice balance between spicy and sweet notes and a bit of warmth on the tail that sits well.

This whisky would be even better if it had a higher proof but Glenlivet like to water-down its malts a bit.

The Glenlivet 15 is first aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon barrels and for 3 years in French Limousin Oak. Those with expertise in casks ensure that the large-grain and tannic wood of these barrels “ensures a clear color and an impressive expression in all spirits”.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Glenlivet 15:

  • Glenlivet is the best-selling single malt whisky in the United States and second globally behind Glenfiddich.

Green Label vs Glenlivet 15: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Johnnie Walker Green Label$48
Glenlivet 15$67

Green Label or Glenlivet 15: Which is better?

The Glenlivet 15 is an easier drinker

WhiskeyGreen LabelGlenlivet 15
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Green Label is a better choice for those looking for a smooth and lightly smoky Scotch offering great value for the money as this is the best Johnnie Walker whisky for the money. Is not a single malt but a blend of single malts produced in some of the best distilleries from the Diageo stable.
  • The Glenlivet 15 is a good dram, smooth yet tasty and a better deal than the 12 YO and the 18 YO. This whisky does not have any peat or smoke making the better choice for those who want a smooth but yet interesting dram as it has some nice spicy hints and is pleasantly warm.

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