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Umami fronts latest Johnnie Walker release

Johnnie Walker has launched an umami-forward limited edition Blue Label whisky in partnership with Michelin-starred chef Kei Kobayashi.

Johnnie Walker Elusive Umami
Blue Label Elusive Umami is recommended neat with caviar

Emma Walker, master blender at Johnnie Walker, called upon Japanese chef Kei Kobayashi, of Paris’ three-Michelin-starred restaurant Kei, to help create Blue Label Elusive Umami.

The duo have drawn the whisky from one in 25 casks, which are selected from the reserves at the height of their maturation to undercover the distinct and complex umami profile.

Walker said: “When we set out to create Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami, it wasn’t just a blending experience, but a gastronomic exploration.

“Getting acquainted with the intensity of the umami flavour was the key to creating this exceptional Scotch whisky.”

Kobayashi noted: “Umami possesses a mysterious quality that ignites our senses, revealing sumptuous taste, complexity and depth.”

The ‘balanced’ Scotch encompasses both savoury and sweet, where fruity notes of blood orange and red berries co-exist with a ‘touch of smoked meat’ and a ‘hint of salt and pepper’, rounded out with a long, sweet fruit finish.

To unlock its full potential and bring out the depth of umami, Walker recommends sipping it neat with caviar.

Blue Label Elusive Umami’s release continues Johnnie Walker’s efforts to push the boundaries of what can be achieved in whisky.

João Matos, director of global marketing and innovation, added: “In partnering with chef Kei to create this unique liquid, we’re driving intrigue and excitement to recruit a new generation of whisky lovers – enhancing a traditional drinking moment to create an immersive experience that elevates all of the senses.”

The whisky can be purchased exclusively from Johnnie Walker’s Princes Street store from today (18 September).

It will be available globally from 16 October.

To mark the launch, Kobayashi is hosting a series of events in Paris where he will create dishes to be paired with the spirit.

Johnnie Walker Elusive Umami follows the launch of the brand’s ‘biggest’ travel retail exclusive to date, Blue Label Xordinaire.

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