Johnnie Walker launches first 50-year-old whisky

17th October, 2018 by Owen Bellwood

Diageo has unveiled the 50-year-old John Walker Masters’ Edition, made using whiskies from distilleries that existed during the lifetime of the Johnnie Walker brand founder.

The John Walker Masters’ Edition is the first 50-year-old whisky from Johnnie Walker

Just 100 bottles of the John Walker Masters’ Edition, Johnnie Walker’s first 50-year-old whisky, have been released with an RRP of US$25,000. Each is a blend of whiskies from six distilleries that were operational during the life of John Walker, who lived from 1805-1857. 

Single malt whiskies sourced from Glen Albyn, Glenury Royal and Blair Athol distilleries have been blended with grain whiskies from Caledonian, Cambus and Port Dundas. Of these distilleries, only Blair Athol remains operational.

Johnnie Walker global brand director, John Williams, said: “Fifty-year-old whiskies are very rare. Whiskies of this age have incredible character but it takes great skill to reveal their flavour and then balance them so people can appreciate the end result.

“That’s where our master blender Jim Beveridge – one of only six in the history of Johnnie Walker – and his small team of exceptional whisky-makers come into their own as masters of their craft.”

The John Walker Masters’ Edition is a triple-matured Scotch whisky that has been finished in small batches in a marrying cask made of 100-year-old oak staves.

The expression is presented in a cabinet from N.E.J. Stevenson, Cabinet Makers by Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen

On the palate, the expression is said to have flavours of blackcurrants and citrus, which “give way to rich, creamy dark chocolate and a long, gentle and warming finish with cooling menthol and a subtle smokiness”.

Johnnie Walker master blender, Jim Beveridge, said: “Each drop of this whisky has been hand-selected from some of the most valuable and precious casks of malt and grain whiskies to be found in our reserves.

“About 20 years ago, Johnnie Walker blenders recognised that these individual whiskies were very special and the decision was made to put them aside for special use, allowing each of them to continue to mature in their casks, knowing that, in time, something even more remarkable would emerge.

“Our goal was to pay tribute to the whisky masters who worked with these whiskies such a long time ago and, with the creation of the Masters’ Edition, I believe we’ve done that.”

Bottled at 43.3% abv, The John Walker Masters’ Edition is presented in an individually numbered, double-cased black crystal Baccarat decanter and comes housed in a cabinet made by N.E.J. Stevenson, cabinet maker for the Queen.

The John Walker Masters’ Edition has been bottled at 43.3% abv and is available in selected markets worldwide.

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