[27TH JULY 2020] TODAY, Johnnie Walker announces the launch of four new exclusive releases that celebrate 200 years since the whisky maker’s founder, John Walker, first threw open the doors to a small grocery store in Scotland. This was the beginning of a journey that would take Johnnie Walker to the four corners of the globe, making it the world’s No 1 Scotch whisky.
All four releases – including a new bottle design and three newly crafted whiskies – are a celebration of the incredible journey, pioneering spirit and dedication to quality that was started by John Walker all those years ago.
JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL 200TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION DESIGN
The new 200th Anniversary Limited Edition Design for the iconic Johnnie Walker Blue Label features bespoke illustrations that bring to life the bold journey and pay homage to some of the great cities and countries that have been part of the Johnnie Walker story. There are also incredible illustrations of geographical landmarks and cultural symbols which represent progress in our time in each of their respective countries.
JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL LEGENDARY EIGHT
An exclusive release celebrating 200 years of bold and passionate craft. It is a smooth, mellow Scotch crafted using some of the very rarest whiskies in the unparalleled Johnnie Walker reserves. Each whisky is hand selected from only eight legendary distilleries that all existed when John Walker made the first steps on his journey, including some very rare expressions from long-closed “ghost” distilleries.
JOHN WALKER & SONS CELEBRATORY BLEND
This exclusive release is inspired by a breakthrough moment in John Walker & Sons’ history – the launch of Old Highland Whisky in the 1860s, the company’s first commercial blend to travel from Scotland to the four corners of the world. This rich and complex whisky is inspired by the flavours found in the Walker family’s grocery store in the 1860s and uses whiskies from distilleries which were operating at that time. The exclusive pack design reveals the only existing image of the Kilmarnock grocery store 200 years ago.
JOHN WALKER & SONS BICENTENARY BLEND
A celebration of where it all began; this exceptional whisky is a sensorial journey down the fragrant aisles of John Walker’s original grocery store in Scotland. Master Blender Jim Beveridge and his team have drawn inspiration from John’s store and meticulously crafted a whisky with rich layers that re-imagines the exotic flavours that shaped his imagination. It is crafted with rare and exceptional whiskies, all aged for at least 28 years, including whiskies from long closed “ghost” distilleries such as Pittyvaich, Cambus and Port Ellen.
Johnnie Walker Master Blender, Jim Beveridge, said: “Each of these exclusive releases bring a fresh perspective to our 200th anniversary story and are the perfect way to celebrate this huge moment for Johnnie Walker. It feels very apt to be announcing them this week to coincide with John Walker’s birthday.”
Diageo Global Scotch Director, John Williams, said: “Our 200th anniversary releases are inspired by the moment our founder, John Walker, first opened the door to his grocer’s store in Kilmarnock – taking the first step on an incredible journey for Johnnie Walker.
“John’s spark, vision and entrepreneurial fire were the impetus to growing the John Walker name, our business and ultimately a new future for Scotch whisky. This year we’re celebrating the steps he first took – steps that have inspired generations of our whisky makers and are at the heart of everything we do today and will do tomorrow.”
All four exclusive releases will launch from October onwards, subject to market distribution and availability, for a limited period only.*