Johnnie Walker anniversary releases

Johnnie Walker anniversary releases

Four new releases that celebrate 200 years since John Walker first opened the doors to a small grocery store in Scotland
Mark Jennings

10 August 2020

John Walker, such a fine name; just a shame no one heard from him since…

Of course, the whole world knows of the man from Kilmarnock, and his ‘walking mannie’, or 'Striding Man' as he is officially called. Whether he’s striding to the left or to the right (or sometimes named Jane), a release from Johnnie Walker is usually worth stopping for.

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.

In detail:

Johnnie Walker Blue Label 200th Anniversary Limited Edition Design

The 200th Anniversary Limited Edition Design for the Blue Label features bespoke illustrations that bring to life Walker’s 'journey' and pay homage to some of the cities and countries that have been part of the Johnnie Walker story. There are also 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

A release celebrating 200 years of “bold and passionate craft”. It’s a mellow one, crafted from some of the rarest whiskies they have. Each whisky comes from only eight 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 be sold around the world). This 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 pack design reveals the only existing image of that grocery store 200 years ago.

John Walker & Sons Bicentenary Blend

A celebration of where it all began, they say. This whisky is a “sensorial journey down the fragrant aisles of John Walker’s original grocery store in Scotland” (cabbages excluded, one hopes). Master Blender Dr Jim Beveridge and his team have drawn inspiration from John’s store and crafted a whisky that “re-imagines the exotic flavours that shaped his imagination”. This one is crafted with rare whiskies, all aged for at least 28 years, including ghost distilleries such as Pittyvaich, Cambus and Port Ellen.

Dr Jim said, “Each of these exclusive releases brings 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.”

I say, YUM.

Seriously though — it would be easy for the team to just keep things safe, but with Dr Jim at the helm, Johnnie Walker just keeps yomping on. To that, I’ll drain my glass and try to keep up.

All four exclusive releases will launch from October, subject to market distribution and availability, for a limited time only.

For further information, see

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