Johnnie Walker marks 200th anniversary with four new releases

Kate Malczewski

Kate Malczewski

30 July 2020

Diageo-owned blended scotch brand Johnnie Walker has launched three new whiskies and a limited-edition bottle design for its Blue Label expression to commemorate its 200th anniversary

‘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,’ commented John Williams, Diageo global scotch director.

The brand’s three new expressions are Johnnie Walker Legendary Eight, John Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend, and John Walker & Sons Bicentenary Blend.

Johnnie Walker Legendary Eight is a blend of whiskies from eight ‘legendary’ distilleries that were operating when the brand was established in 1820. Its flavour profile is described as ‘smooth and mellow’.

John Walker & Sons Bicentenary Blend
John Walker & Sons Bicentenary Blend

John Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend gains its inspiration from the launch of the brand’s Old Highland Whisky expression in the 1860s, which became the company’s first internationally distributed product. This ‘rich and complex’ spirit is based on ‘the flavours found in the Walker family’s grocery store in the 1860s’, and the blend contains whiskies made in distilleries operating in that time period.

John Walker & Sons Bicentenary Blend also takes the Walker family grocery store as inspiration, this time ‘re-imagin[ing] the exotic flavours that shaped [John Walker’s] imagination’. The expression is made with whiskies that are all aged a minimum of 28 years, with components from now-defunct distilleries including Pittyvaich, Cambus and Port Ellen.

In addition, the brand has unveiled a new limited-edition pack design for its Blue Label bottling, themed around the cities and countries that have played a role in the brand’s evolution. It features illustrations of landmarks and symbols that represent these locations.

‘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,’ said Johnnie Walker master blender Jim Beveridge. ‘It feels very apt to be announcing them this week to coincide with John Walker’s birthday.’

The four new releases will be available from October on a limited basis.

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