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Johnnie Walker unveils three Blenders’ Batch whiskies

Diageo has expanded Johnnie Walker’s experimental Blenders’ Batch series with three limited edition whiskies, which have been “designed with bartenders in mind”.

The three new Blenders’ Batch whiskies

The three new expressions – Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish, Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Wine Cask Blend, and Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast – were unveiled at the Diageo Reserve World Class 2017 cocktail competition in Mexico City this week.

Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish (40.8% abv) is said to be the result of 10 years worth of experiments by blender Chris Clark, and is a blend of whiskies from Speyside and the Lowlands that have been finished in casks that previously held Caribbean pot still rum.

Aimée Gibson, Johnnie Walker blender, led the creation of Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Wine Cask Blend (40% abv), which combines whisky filled into wine casks by Johnnie Walker’s master blender Jim Beveridge more than 10 years ago. The blend contains liquid sourced from distilleries such as Cameronbridge and Clynelish.

Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast (43.2% abv), meanwhile, is described as a “deliciously rich, smooth and meticulously crafted blended Scotch with punchy notes of rich coffee and dark chocolate”. It is the result of Gibson’s experiments using an inventory of whiskies distilled using barley roasted “more heavily than ever before”. The whiskies have been matured in a combination of rejuvenated casks and first-fill Bourbon casks.

“Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch whiskies are the result of bold experiments that push the boundaries in flavour – just as Johnnie Walker Black Label did over a century ago,” said Gibson. “Over time that experimental blend has gone on to become a true icon of Scotch all around the world.

“My goal is to make whiskies that can be enjoyed by people with a range of taste preferences, especially by those who might previously have thought that whisky isn’t for them.”

Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Wine Cask Blend will launch in select countries from September 2017 with an RRP from US$29.99. Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish and Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast will launch exclusively in the global on-trade from October 2017.

Diageo launched the Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch series in September 2016.

Previous releases in the range include Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Red Rye Finish, Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Bourbon Cask & Rye Finish, and Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Triple Grain American Oak – all said to be inspired by Beveridge’s work in Kentucky in the 1990s blending Bourbon and rye whiskey.

Aimée Gibson and Jim Beveridge

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