Johnnie Walker Launches Blue Label Elusive Umami

Johnnie Walker reveals new limited edition capturing the elusive taste of Umami, in first-of-a-kind collaboration with renowned Chef Kei Kobayashi

Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one Scotch Whisky brand1, today unveils Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami – a pioneering expression inspired by the enigmatic flavour also known as the fifth taste.

Master Blender Emma Walker joined forces with world-renowned chef Kei Kobayashi, channelling their years of expertise into the creation of this exquisite Blended Scotch Whisky.

In their pursuit to decode one of the world’s most mysterious flavours, the pair set out on a journey of flavour discovery, endeavouring to create a blend that encapsulates the enigmatic taste of umami.

The result – a beautifully balanced Scotch whisky of sweet and savoury flavours, with notes of blood oranges and red berries with sweet wood spice, a touch of smoked meat, a hint of salt and pepper with a long, sweet fruit finish.

Selected casks from inland and coastal distilleries are hand-picked at the height of their maturation for their unique umami profile – only one in 25,000 casks succeeds in bringing this elusive character to life.

Johnnie Walker Master Blender, Emma Walker, says: “When we set out to create Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami, it wasn’t just a blending experience, but a gastronomic exploration. Getting acquainted with the intensity of the umami flavour was the key to creating this exceptional Scotch Whisky. Best served neat with caviar to unlock the full depth of this unique sensory experience.”

Chef Kei Kobayashi, whose restaurant Kei, located in Paris, maintained its three Michelin stars in the 2023 release of the Michelin Guide adds: “Umami possesses a mysterious quality that ignites our senses, revealing sumptuous taste, complexity and depth. Encapsulating that alluring flavour through Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami allows you to immerse your palate in an exquisite Scotch Whisky of subtle richness.”

João Matos, Global Marketing & Innovation Director of Johnnie Walker, says: “This limited edition release represents our commitment to push the boundaries of what’s possible in whisky – and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami does just that. In partnering with Chef Kei to create this unique liquid, we’re driving intrigue and excitement to recruit a new generation of whisky lovers – enhancing a traditional drinking moment to create an immersive experience that elevates all of the senses.”

To taste, apple and white peach touch the senses first. Sweet, smooth and long – mandarins, blood oranges and red berries, the longer finish of sweet wood spice, a touch of smoked meat, warming salt and pepper with a long, sweet fruit finish.

The new limited release will be showcased at a series of events, starting with a global launch in Paris where the liquid will be paired with the series of dishes created by Chef Kei Kobayashi.

Available exclusively at Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh from September 18, 2023, before pre-sales launch globally on October 2, 2023, and available to buy globally from October 16, 2023.

For further information, please contact Smarts: [email protected]

Tags: blue labelElusive UmamiJohnnie Walker
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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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