Johnnie Walker grows Blenders’ Batch portfolioBy Annie Hayes
Diageo has expanded Johnnie Walker’s experimental whisky stable with the launch of Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Bourbon Cask & Rye Finish.
Described as “a bold experiment in flavour”, the new launch was created from experiments using more than 200 whisky samples. The final blend features whiskies from five distilleries including Dufftown and the now closed Port Dundas.
The blend is aged in first-fill Bourbon casks and finished for up to six months in former rye casks, resulting in a “rich” whisky with “intense honeyed sweetness”.
This limited edition whisky is part of Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch portfolio – the result of hundreds of ongoing flavour experiments carried out by a small team of blenders led by master blender Dr Jim Beveridge.
Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Bourbon Cask & Rye Finish is said to be inspired by the time Beveridge spent blending Bourbons and ryes in Kentucky in the 1990s.
“Blended from just a handful of single malts and carefully chosen grain whiskies matured in first fill Bourbon casks and finished in casks that formerly held rye whisky – Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Bourbon Cask and Rye Finish is a rich, sweet, intensely honeyed and smooth Scotch whisky, with the warming vanilla spiciness usually associated with the iconic Johnnie Walker Black Label,” said Beveridge.
“To my mind, it’s the best of Scotch but with an exciting twist inspired by the best of traditional American whiskey flavours.”
Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Bourbon Cask & Rye Finish is available in a small number of selected markets including selected travel retail outlets, retailing at US$52.50/£32.00 for a 1 litre bottle.
Dayalan Nayager, managing director, Diageo Global Travel, said: “The launch of Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Bourbon Cask & Rye Finish is a welcome addition to the Scotch Whisky category in travel retail, made possible by the hundreds of ongoing flavour experiments and skill of the blending team at Johnnie Walker.
“Travellers are looking for brands that have discovery, authenticity, craftsmanship and real human stories behind them. Johnnie Walker has a truly unique story to tell and with the latest innovation in the Blenders’ Batch series, we are excited to offer our customers and consumers a glimpse into the constantly shifting world of flavour exploration from the biggest spirits brand in the channel.”