Johnnie Walker debuts closed distilleries whisky blendBy Owen Bellwood
Diageo Reserve has released Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare, a new blend made with whiskies from closed distilleries.
Blue Label Ghost and Rare is the first in a series of special releases which will be made using whiskies from “ghost” distilleries that have long since closed.
Each edition in the series will be crafted with “one magnificent rare whisky at its heart”, with the first release using liquid from the Brora distillery.
Created by Johnnie Walker master distiller, Jim Beveridge, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare is a blend of whiskies from eight distilleries in Diageo’s portfolio, including three “ghost” whiskies.
The new blend includes whisky from Royal Lochnagar, Clynelish, Glenkinchie, Glenlossie and Cameronbride as well as spirit from the silent Cambus, Pittyvaich and Brora distilleries.
The resulting spirit is a “smooth Scotch, with the fruity sweetness of pineapple, rich notes of hazelnut and dark chocolate, and a subtle smoky finish”.
Beveridge said: “Over the years of crafting fine Scotch whiskies, I’ve had the remarkable privilege of working with some of the rarest spirits ever to come out of Scotland. I’m lucky that we have stocks from more than 30 distilleries from every region of Scotland from which to choose the perfect casks to craft each blend. It gives us a richness of character, flavour and age that no other Scotch can match.”
He continued: “Whiskies from these ghost distilleries are becoming increasingly rare. From our library of irreplaceable casks that we keep exclusively for Johnnie Walker Blue Label, I’ve chosen a few uniquely full-bodied expressions of these precious malts and grains to let people explore, in a new way, the extraordinary richness found in our pinnacle whisky.”
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare joins a range which includes Johnnie Walker Red Label, Green Label and Gold Label Reserve as well as several special releases, together accounting for nearly 19 million cases of whisky sold annually.
Each numbered bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare is bottled at 46% abv and priced at £220 (US$296).
The news follows Diageo’s £35 million (US$46m) investment to restart production at closed distilleries Port Ellen and Brora by 2020.