Johnnie Walker rebrands Platinum as 18YO
Diageo-owned blended Scotch whisky Johnnie Walker has renewed its focus on age statements by rebranding its Platinum Label edition as an 18-year-old expression.
Created by master blender Jim Beveridge, the new Johnnie Walker Aged 18 Years release is described as a “complex and smooth” combination of “up to 18 different whiskies” from the main producing regions in Scotland.
The expression is intended to be drunk neat or on the rocks, and offers “rich sweet fruit, toffee, caramel and vanilla” aromas with a “hint of smoke”, while on the palate given notes include dark fruits, cereal, vanilla, almonds, tangerines and a gentle smoke.
Johnnie Walker Aged 18 Years is presented in a newly-designed, “sophisticated” bottle with gold detailing.
Diageo has released a short film depicting Beveridge looking for the “ultimate” 18-year-old blended Scotch to support the launch – see below.
Guy Escolme, Johnnie Walker global brand director, said: “We know that people are increasingly interested in 18-year-old Scotch and we believe we have the finest 18-year-old blend in the world. Making it is far from easy and requires real expertise, skill and, of course, the very best Scotch to work with.
“We have unrivalled reserves of mature whiskies which give our blenders a palette of flavours unmatched by any other whisky maker and makes it possible to create a blend of the quality of Johnnie Walker Aged 18 Years.”
Beveridge added: “I find older whiskies fascinating to work with. The great whiskies I’ve selected for this blend have undergone a slow, easy maturation through at least 18 cold winters and warm summers. It’s a long time to wait but these whiskies have a wonderful balance.
“The challenge with this blend was to create a smooth and complex whisky with distinctive, big flavours. Older malt whiskies can become quite constrained over time and the key to unlocking their flavours is small, carefully judged quantities of 18-year-old Lowland grain whisky.
“I have chosen up to 18 different whiskies with remarkable flavours and character, including classic Speyside malts, such as Cardhu, Glen Elgin and Auchroisk for their sweetness and elegance; fruity and complex Highland malts including Blair Athol and beautifully aged island malts that enable me to introduce such a subtle smokiness.”
Johnnie Walker Aged 18 Years will be available in a range of markets over the coming months, bottled at 40% abv. The pricing will remain the same, around £65, depending on the market.