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Issue 94 - Liquid History

Whisky Magazine Issue 94
March 2011


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Liquid History

As every reader of Whisky Magazine will know, the most popular Scotch whisky in the world is Johnnie Walker. As a standard blend it tends to be over-looked by aficionados, though the 12 Years Old Black Label and its newly-released sibling the non-age Double Black command respect.

These are relatively mass-market products though and increasingly the distilling industry is looking for premium and super premium styles. Johnnie Walker is no exception, and as prices rise, the range continues with Blue Label, Blue Label King George V Edition and occasional special releases, despite coming from the giant Diageo, every so often they let their blenders follow their highly-trained noses.

The latest result is The John Walker. In hand-blown Baccarat crystal, The John Walker will be available exclusively in Harrods (£2,000). You might also see it in some Duty Free outlets, in the Coburg Bar at London's Connaught Hotel and other salubrious watering holes.

Master blender Dr Jim Beveridge describes the new product as “a blend of controlled power and richness”. He makes The John Walker in batches of 330 bottles from distilleries operating when the original John Walker was still alive. Of course, some of these are now lost forever, so this represents an unrepeatable piece superof liquid history. Included here are whiskies from Glen Albyn (closed 1983; now demolished) and Cambus (closed 1993).

Once blended, the whisky is married in special casks. Jim won't be drawn on exactly how long,...

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