Johnnie Walker Green Label Discontinued

It looks like Johnnie Walker Green Label will be discontinued.

Updated Oct 29th, 2013: I emailed Johnnie Walker and received this response from a representative named Eliza – “We value loyal consumers such as yourself and we appreciate your enthusiasm. Unfortunately, Johnnie Walker Green Label has been discontinued and currently there are no plans to offer this product again in the future. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, and appreciate that you took the time to express your support for this product. However, we are glad to hear that you enjoyed Johnnie Walker Double Black Label and we encourage you to try Johnnie Walker Platinum Label or Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve in hopes that you may find a new favorite.”

I suspect the move has to do with sales. Johnny Walker Black and Red are quite affordable at $26 and $20 a bottle respective. Johnnie Walker Blue lives in that “luxury” realm of scotch at $160 a bottle.

Then you have Johnnie Walker Gold at $70.

And Johnnie Walker Green at around $50 a bottle.

To the novice scotch drinker or gift giver, you can either go inexpensive with Red and Black or you go up the luxury spectrum and consider Gold at $70 or Blue at twice the price. The $50 price point gets lost.

I’ve tried each of the five, most recently I tried the Green, Gold and Blue in one sitting. I can’t honestly say that the Green stood out above the others in any meaningful way and at $50 I don’t know if it’s particularly memorable, I’m sad to say. While I’m always sad to see anything be discontinued, I’d be lying if I said I’d miss it but you can always try to make your own!

It contains Talisker, Caol Ila, Cragganmore, and Linkwood with each being at least 15 years old.

About Jim

Jim is the founder of Scotch Addict and one of the many fans of whisky in all its forms. Connect with me on Google+.
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112 Responses to Johnnie Walker Green Label Discontinued

  1. Lewin says:

    Not surprising, though I did like Green a lot and have some in my bar right now. I’m in Ontario so everything’s priced higher here, but at its previous price of $59 it was a decent buy. Recently it has been priced at $75, which is just too much. More than many of the malts it contained! (Black goes for $44, Gold $90.) Maybe I’ll get lucky and find another duty free bottle (last time, 1L for $58) before they’re gone.

  2. Robert Williams says:

    Do you think the value of unopened bottles will increase down the road? I happen to have two and wouldn’t mind sitting on them a decade or two.

  3. Corey barber says:

    Not a bad idea but given the amount of green label in the world i would consider sitting on them for even longer. As numbers dwindle nostalgic and historic value would push price up.

  4. shane says:

    Actually JW blends green label from 27 different distilleries, not 4. They just like to name drop Linkwood, Cragganmore, Caol Ila and Talisker around. Those are all good whiskies and for what you pay for a bottle of Green you could get a better bottle of any of those others.

  5. Jason Debly says:

    I consider Green Label to be the best of the Johnnie Walker product line. Yes, better than Blue and Gold.

    Why? Complexity of flavor. Simply a fantastic honeyed dram with heather and some peat. Really unique flavor profile. Very delicate.

    Anyhow, I had heard rumours for a couple of years that this was indeed the fate of Green Label. An industry guy told me that the problem was weak sales and the cause of the weak sales was pricing. It was priced in the vicinity of 12 year old entry level single malts. He claimed that many consumers felt that they would rather spend the same amount of money on a single malt rather than a blended malt.

    My theory is Green Label could have been a great success for Diageo if it had more marketing dollars behind it. We all know about Blue Label, but how many of you really even heard of Green Label?

    Anyway, not a good day to learn of this.

  6. Robert says:

    @Jason, you’re right on the marketing subject. Even the employees doesn’t know about the GL in some stores. In my last visit at the saq there was two bottles in the inventory but nobody really know where they were hidden. But I’ve found the hidden treasure, at last…

    Not a good news, indeed. I’ve tried to ask Diageo but their mailbox is overquota.

  7. John says:

    It’s a shame, I prefer GL over all JW’s other bands (even Blue), although I haven’t tried Swing yet. Headed out to obtain a bottle this afternoon. I am stocking up on GL, 14 bottles in the closet. I also heard that Gold Label will also be phased out. Any knowledge on this?

  8. Lindsay says:

    @shane : “Actually JW blends green label from 27 different distilleries, not 4.”

    Can you provide a reference for this claim, or are you confusing it with Monkey Shoulder?

    “Those are all good whiskies and for what you pay for a bottle of Green you could get a better bottle of any of those others.”

    Where I live JW Green is cheaper than even the entry level expressions from the distilleries whose malts it contains.

  9. Steve..Australia says:

    Very disappointing as Green has always been high in the rankings as a smooth drop in my opinion.
    I would have thought the Gold would go as the price is greater without the flavor of GL.

    Some-one in the company obviously has other ideas…to me bad ones!

    Life goes on and so will JW.

  10. Jason Debly says:

    Sam, Diageo has also discontinued the 18 yr age statement Gold Label and replaced it with “Gold Label Reserve” which has no age statement and is a disappointing shadow of the former.

    Diageo has launched “Platinum Label” which does have an 18 year age statement and it is positioned in price in between Gold Label Reserve and Blue.

    Since you are a fan of Green Label, try Cragganmore, Glenfiddich 15 Solera and Linkwood (usually released by independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail), as these malts have many similarities with Green.

    Cheers!

  11. John says:

    As the Striding Man may have stumbled on this one so must I search out a new Scotch. I have grown a palate for Glenmorgangie, single malt, 12 year old, Lasanta to replace my dwindling stock of GL. I will be more than happy to investigate Cragganmore and Glenfiddich 15 Solera as suggested.

  12. Robert K says:

    I was told by JW reps that Green has been discontinued due to the volume required from the major 4 distilleries. Since they could no longer supply sufficient volume, JW decided not to compromise the expression and discontinue. As a result, a definite collector’s item: Stock Up.
    Slainte

  13. G Arty says:

    Recently saw Johnnie Walker placards (line up of products) in the Duty Free stores and GREEN is gone. What I saw was: Red, Black, Double Black, Gold Label Reserve, Diamond, and Blue. In that order with Diamond selling for about $110-$120 in the Duty Free stores.

    Having bottles of all, I consider GREEN the best blend. Regardless of the reasons, this stinks and I’m very disappointed in Diageo. Dare I say… idiots!

  14. Christopher says:

    I also have bought several bottles of JW green 45.00$ for a 750 ml on sale.Other prices in my area are pricey 65$ for a 1 liter.Whether a blend or single malt if it tastes good buy it .JW Black is also great but looked down upon by many scotch snobs I cant understand a 1.75 liter JW Black 59$ by me..Its the go too on a regular day….

  15. John says:

    The quest for a new scotch goes on as my Green dwindles. Picked up a sampler pack called “The Classic Malts Collection.” Contains 3 x 200 ml: Lagavulin single malt 16 yr, Talisker aged 10 yr, and Cragganmore 12 yr. This should be an interesting week. Also tried a Grangestone Highland single malt 12 yr last night at a colleague’s house. Quite good and priced at $25/750ml. This one might become the “go to” but there is so many to try and so little time :-)

    • Jim says:

      The Classic Malts Collection is a package put together by Diageo, they own all the brands in the list and they’re supposed to be a representation of all the various Scotch areas in Scotland. I’m not entirely sold on it but it does make for a nice gift set. I’ve had all three and Lagavulin is my favorite for its smokiness and distinct medicinal flavor. I don’t usually go for Islays but Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg are my go tos in that area.

      As for Talisker and Cragganmore, I’ve had both but they don’t stick out in my mind. Talisker is on the smokier side so it’ll be good to compare against Lagavulin but Cragganmore is a Speyside distillery. Expect floral and fruit to dominate so if you are going to try all three, start with Cragganmore, then Talisker, then Lagavulin.

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  17. Simon says:

    Just picked up a bottle of green label today and there were plenty more left on the shelves. Reasonably priced too at $68 (this is in Australia so everythings expensive). Have they actually phased it out or are stocks just ridiculously high?

    • Jim says:

      I have no idea, I keep hearing reports about it being available. I suspect it’s a matter of supply at this point if they truly discontinued it.

  18. Brian Russell says:

    Yes, Johnnie Walker Green has officially been discontinued. Diageo has removed it from every version of their JW website.

    The story is that it “cost too much” for them to continue making it. But in my eyes some executive took a look at a spreadsheet and said to someone, “wait, why are we producing this when people spend $200 on something that costs us less to make (blue label)” so they cut it.

    They are replacing the green’s “position” in the line with a Platinum Label, which was originally designed for the Asian market. Platinum is an 18 year that contains grain whisky.

    You will still find it in stores, as it was finally cut in 2012. Supplies will die out quickly though, as many online distributors are already out. If you like it buy it right now.

    It’s really sad that there’s not a single single malt blend of JW anymore. Truly sad. The Green had a lot of character but was almost too complex for me at times.

    The diageo classic malts range isn’t anything anyone should pay too much attention to. It’s just a marketing gimmick. The company has been buying and trading Scottish distilleries for a century. All the sudden they realized they held the pink slips to some of the oldest from all over Scotland and found a way to capitalize off that. This doesn’t mean they have had all that much to do with the quality of those bottlings, they just get the profits from those who have been running them forever.

    JW Green is $59 here in Oklahoma.

  19. KAHUNA says:

    I am firmly in the Green above the others camp it is my favorite JW. I will miss it and will buy a few bottles to hold onto to enjoy.

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  21. Joe says:

    “Lagavulin is my favorite for its smokiness and distinct medicinal flavor”…

    The first time I tried Lagavulin was late one wild Saturday night. I thought I was losing my mind when I tasted it and iodine immediately sprang to mind. Thanks for bringing back that memory. For the record I like it also and it is a taste this novice scotch drinker never forgot.

    • Jim says:

      Yes, I had that exact same experience! First, I felt like something was off because it was so unexpected (especially if you were like me and were mostly enjoying Speysides) but I’ve come to enjoy it and the smokiness.

  22. John says:

    With Diageo’s Classic Malts Collection sampler pack, I found the Graganmore 12 to be more suitable to my taste. The Talisker 10 seem to be a spicy more of a pepper taste to me and the Lagavulin 16 a heavy smokey flavor which I tend to shy away from. I will polish these samplers off and then try the Balvenie DoubleWood 12 yr single malt. My liquor store still has several bottles of JW Green but they tell me that their distributor is out so when it goes, it gone.

  23. Joe says:

    Some bean counter probably figured out the company could increase profits by “discontinuing” the green then blending the green they have left into the gold LOL

  24. christine says:

    I want to buy a gift for a friend and my options in the price point I want to pay are platinum or gold Jonny Walker, what would be the best option to give my friend? (I am a non drinker and need help as he is a jonny drinker!

  25. John says:

    Christine, if he is a JW drinker, why don’t you just buy his favorite JW flavor. Each scotch has its own unique flavor and he may not enjoy the gold or platinum. I would recommend a sampler pack that contains 3 or 4 200ml bottles and allow him to sample different flavors. JW doesn’t have the market corner on good tasting scotch, and a high price doesn’t mean a good tasting scotch. Might I suggest that you take him to a liquor store (outlet) and tell him his price limit and let him decide.

    • Jim says:

      Personally, I’d do the same – either buy what you know he enjoys or go with a sampler that contains a little bit of a few so he can try other things, maybe find something else he likes.

  26. Don says:

    I’m very sad to see the demise of JW Green. It is far & away their best dram because it actually has flavour & complexity. I guess it doesn’t fit with the rest of the JW range which appears to be aimed at people who aren’t really whisky enthusiasts and are simply looking for something bland and easy to drink- with a bit of snobbery thrown in for the dearer blends.
    I recently attended a JW tasting which included everything except platinum. The Green stood out as the only serious whisky, although the Swing was pleasant.

  27. petre says:

    good to buy as collectible then? :)

    • Jim says:

      Not as a collectible, it was just so massively produced that unless you’re willing to wait a few hundred years, chances are it won’t be a good investment. :)

  28. Maruthi says:

    For a middle class Indian, Red is a regular scotch while Black/Double Black is premium. I always hoped to drink Green some day but I guess that won’t be possible now. I don’t think I’ll ever have the same feeling with Blue because I find it atrociously premium for my income. I guess I will have to replace Green with Gold now, but I still feel let down. It’s like I wanted to study in Colombia Business School all my life for some reason but now I have to join either Havard or Stanford.

  29. Jorn Hövels says:

    Could be that the stocks of JW Green Label are massive, but millions of people will keep drinking it. JW is the best selling whisky in the world. So I think it’s a good investment, also in the short run. Although I usually drink Arbeg, Ofcourse, I bought a few bottles of JW Green Label. Prices have in fact already risen with 1o,00 Euros in the Netherlands. :)

  30. Jose G. says:

    Discontinue Green Label? Interesting. I had a glass of Blue Label a few years back, didn’t like it. about a year ago I purchased a sampler pack and found I still didn’t like the Blue, but I didn’t like the Black either. I found the Green and the Gold more to my taste. According to the information in the sampler box, Blue and Black, High peat. Gold and Green Low peat. Of the Green and Gold, I preferred the Green.

  31. Nathan says:

    The US website is still trumpeting Green Label. I wonder if they decided against it’s demise.

  32. woodgnome says:

    1984 Islay single malt the only whisky ! you would ever want if you taste it forget blends (colonials please note use of its correct spelling )

  33. Lindsay says:

    As the kids say these days; “LOLWUT?”.

    Also if you search this page for “whiskey” you’ll notice you get no hits. Nice work criticising something that doesn’t exist.

  34. Lindsay says:

    Well, you get one hit now…

  35. Jason Debly says:

    Maybe Green Label still appears on the US johhniewalker.com site because there is plenty of Green Label in the supply line (ie. retail outlets and warehouses), and they will remove reference once the product is no longer on store shelves. Just pure speculation on my part.

  36. John says:

    I regularly visit three different liquor stores and they still have plenty of GL on the shelves. My observations indicate that most people buy well know brand names in the $35-$50 (USD) range. GL tends to sell for $60 (USD), 750ml. Business is business and it is driven by the bottom line. Eventually, GL will disappear from the shelves. So, what is your fall back plan when it is gone? Have you started your hunt for a replacement?
    Like Don (comment March 9), I also attended a scotch tasting event which I recommend every scotch drinker should do at least once. It is a good way to sample a variety of scotchies. At this event I was able to sample Chivas Regals 18, 21 & 25 yrs, Glenlevit 15, 18 & 21 yrs, Scapa 16 yrs, Longmorn 16 yrs and Aberlour 12 yrs. For my palate, I found the CR 21 light & smooth, very good; Glenlevit 18 smooth with a taste of spice; the Scapa creamy, mild and no taste of peat; The Longmorn 16 was slighly intense but smooth with a hint of peat. Another great thing about this event was that I was able to talk “scotch” with fellow scotch enthusiast. One such enthusiast guided me towards a Glenrothes, distilled in 91, bottled in 2006 (it’s how they label their bottles). For me, this is an excellent scotch with a smooth and warm taste, no hint of peat. Good hunting!

  37. Donetta Lawson says:

    @ most of the posting. I too agree that the Green Label JW is the best. I have plenty of Blue and Gold in my inventory; however, I have 1 bottle of Green I found last night after searching 3 stored. Its my favorite. I must go back and grab more bottles.

  38. Donetta Lawson says:

    Just a hint to the JW lovers try the JW Double Black a little smokey but a very good taste.

    • Jim says:

      My dad introduced to me because he saw it available in duty free (now it’s available everywhere) and it’s a great bottle for that price.

  39. JZ says:

    For all the Great Britain snobbery on here, you’re not even in the top 5 consumers of your own JW product. US and Brazil, by far #’s 1 and 2, followed by Thailand (yes it’s true) and Mexico.

    JWG is my favorite….I wil stock up and lok for a replacement.

  40. Lindsay says:

    Snobbery?

  41. John says:

    Snob! Your shot across the bow JZ seems inflammatory. You may have not meant it that way but I interpreted that way and I am an American. In jest, a couple of my friends call me a “scotch snob” and at times I refer to myself as a scotch snob :-) Maybe that is your intent, to come across as a “scotch snob” :-) “Let the Scotch Snob Wars begin!”
    By the way, was at a duty free shop and no Green or Gold. The rest of the standard JW line up was there and sporting the Platinum. Anybody have any feedback on the Platinum? I would like to find a 200 ml sampler before I make a major investment on the unknown.

  42. Abc says:

    Gl is different from all the other JW. It’s a pure malt made of single malts.

    All others to my knowledge have other grains in it.

    So it is unique in the JW lines.

  43. RayMun says:

    As a gift I had first tasted a bottle of JW green label and it only cost him for about 10 us dls! So i immediately become a fan of the blend. Ever since I fill my yearly stock with one or two litters of it for my personal taste (since no one seems to know this JW brand around me). Now I’m shocked because my top liquor stores are empty of it. A true shame for the whiskey snobbery…

    So I’m hopping anyone can recommend some new stories to haunt.

  44. Bil says:

    Not surprising that Johnnie
    Walker would discontinue their Green Label. The cmpany is in the blended Scotch Whisky business. Gren Label was a vatted malt whisky. I suppose they are leaving the malt whisky business to those who produce only malts.

  45. Martin M says:

    A local liquor store here in southeast Florida has purchased two cases “at a good price”, or so the manager tells me, that they’re pricing at $40 a bottle. So I’ve picked up a couple and daresay, I should purchase more before they quickly run out. I do enjoy it. Seems a shame that Diageo has decided to eliminate its only Scotch with pure malt content.

  46. Jerome says:

    Interestingly enough, since the announcement that JW Green has been discontinued, the supply in the US hasn’t seem to diminish at all. Diego anticipated that the last bottle would be sold in the US sometime around late July/August 2013 but supplies seem to be sufficient until early summer 2014 (at least according to my local store here in New Jersey).

    Personally, I think JWG would have a much larger following if it was aged for three-to-five years more. While you could make that argument for just about any whiskey, the complexity of JWG’s flavors seem to really excel in the 18+ year range. Of course, that would really cause issues in the marketing and pricing of the upper-end Gold and Blue.

  47. Dave says:

    Green Label is one of my favorites and I used to buy from duty free on my travels but then it was discontinued…….but fear not, I recently visited Macao and there was plenty available, so anyone in southern China or who may be visiting get some whilst you can!

  48. A. Grant says:

    Not a huge scotch drinker but have had red and some other brands in the past. Looked up the info on green label and found it to sound interesting. Went to local store 2weeks before Xmas and the had about 15 bottles. Really enjoyed the taste and went back a week later and they were sold out. But ended up finding a large supply in White plains, ny. I’ll be stocking up.

  49. Adam says:

    I just found out and am devastated at this news. I live I’m Sydney Australia and tonight I called a few places and couldn’t find any bottles- anyone know a stockist round here who may have a few left?

    • Steve says:

      Try some of the Liquor stores on line like Good drop or Nicks.
      I have also found a few still in some small country stores around OZ on my travels, but in the last 2months pickings have dried up considerably or they want $100-120 +…..good hunting.

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