Monday, 18 June 2012

Walking With Friends








Whisky:  Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 yr old



Johnnie Walker






Pale Gold


So I've been in Australia for roughly 2 and a half years. I live in Perth where there is something like 300+ days of beautiful sun, never gets too cold, when it gets too hot there are beautiful beaches with white sand and blue blue water.

Considering that I'm from Seattle, where it rains something like 300 days a year and 85 for a week is a heatwave, this should be paradise right?

Well I hate to say it, but for my first year and a a half here Australia was a miserable hell for me.
Everywhere I turned the moment I opened my mouth and I'd quickly get asked if I was from Canada. When I said no, I'd often get told to go back to my own country. People would make nasty american remarks when I was near. My father in law who is from Vietnam told me that from what he'd seen happen to American's he'd worked with that I would receive much more harassment then he ever had.

I was hounded from two jobs with relentless harassment, to the point that my immediate supervisor contacted her attorney to see what could be done. And during this time, when all was bleak and I so badly wanted to move back home to rainy Seattle.

I made a friend.

His name was Louie.

My sister in law works with Louie and she'd been telling him about the events occurring at work everyday. And he decided that he didn't like it.

Even more his partner, a lawyer, decided she didn't like it.

So I received a call one day from Louie and his partner, Gen, saying that they'd heard about how I was being treated at work and that they thought it was a shame that I was being treated this way.

They told me that Aussies were friendly and outgoing and from what they'd heard, there was no way
 I could care one cents worth for any aussie other then my in laws and that they were going to change that.

They were going to represent me for free. They were going to go to my work and lay down the law. Enough was enough. They talked to me every night for weeks, hours on the phone, writing letters, reviewing correspondence from the head managers at my job, drafting my replies, all for free.

All without even meeting me.

I eventually just quit, burned out, tired of the drama. But I kept in touch with Louie and Gen. They were at our wedding, I'd go catch a movie every so often with Louie, switching off on who picked up the tab and arguing that it was always "Our turn".

Fast forward over a year and I receive a letter in the mail.

I'd been granted Residency in Australia.

So I send out a txt message to my brother and sister in law, a good friend of my wife's, Carlin, and Louie and Gen.

My wife and I are going out to celebrate that weekend. Anyone who wants to come, we'd love to have you!

We get to the restaurant and everyone is already there, EVERYONE is early. Holy cow, it's RARE when we're the last ones arriving, but was very nice to see everyone.

As we walk in everyone stands up and Louie walks over to me and hands me a package.

"Congratulations Brother! I hope you like it!"

I open the package and inside is a bottle of...

Johnnie Walker Green Label.

"I've heard it's supposed to be a good one" Louie informs me.

I have no clue. I'd never had Johnnie Walker before, but it was a touching gesture.

Dinner passes nicely, with lots of laughing and jokes.

When we get home I crack open the bottle with my wife and pour a couple drams into a tumbler. (I don't have any glencairns at this point)

I smell that present.

There is lots of peat and earthiness, but some fruit, apples I think with vanilla, cinnamon, some pepper, a little bit of smoke.

I've never encountered anything quite like this at this point in time. It's weird. Cool, but weird.

My wife and I decide to take a sip, she doesn't like it. It's not her thing.

Nothing wrong with that!!

I shall persevere!!

The taste is again a little weird for me, peat, earth, smoke, pepper, bits and pieces of fruit. It's a very earthy and primal whisky it feels like. It's not a bad thing. This is like one of those perfect winter whiskies. Nice and warming, makes you think a bit.

The finish was long with the smoke and peat lasting, with just a hint of fruit following the smoke and peat down.

A very good whisky, and a good value one. This whisky normally retails here in Australia for around $65ish and is readily available. For now. It is supposed to be discontinued at the end of the year, which reminds me I need to go pick up a couple of bottles of it.

This is not the greatest whisky in the world, it doesn't claim to be, but it's a good one.
And this whisky shows, this empty bottle on my shelf, next to my glencairns, that friends show their love, compassion and loyalty to you, everyday...

A drop at a time.

Nose:      22/25
Taste:    21/25
Finish:    21/25
Balance:  21/25

Overall: 85/100


  1. As far as I'm concerned, this is the best of the Johnnie Walker range. It's the only one that's a blended malt (a blend of single malts, with no grain whisky), and it shows. What makes it good, is how well balanced and smooth it is. It's not as complex as many great single malts, but it also doesn't have any rough edges. You can't beat the smoky kick from Caol Ila and Talsiker or the reasonable price for whisky that's 100% malt whisky.

    Unfortunately, the Green Label is going to be phased out soon. Here in the US, that happens next year. Anyone who hasn't tried it, should get a bottle while they can!

    1. Agreed Scott. This is my personal favorite in the Johnnie Walker range that I've tried so far. I haven't had the Blue Label yet, but I've got to be honest and say I doubt it'll live up to it's $200 price tag.

      I know that I need to snag myself a few bottles of the Green Label before it's fully phased out so that I have some for down the road.

      Anyone else who likes Green Label should do the same as Scott has suggested!