Johnnie Walker is a brand of Scotch Whiskey owned by Diageo and produced in Kilmarnock,
It is the most widely distributed brand of blended Scotch whiskey in the world, sold in
almost every country with yearly sales of over 130 million bottles.
Originally known as Walkers Kilmarnock Whisky.
Tthe Johnnie Walker brand is a legacy left by John Johnnie Walker after he
started to sell whiskey in his grocers shop in Ayrshire, Scotland.
The brand became popular after Walkers death in 1857.
John Walkers son Alexander Walker and grandson Alexander Walker II who were largely
responsible for establishing the scotch as a popular brand.
Under John Walker, whiskey sales represented eight percent of the firms income; by
the time Alexander was ready to pass on the company to his own sons, that figure had
increased to between 90 and 95 percent. Prior to 1860 it was illegal to sell blended
whiskey. During that time John Walker sold a number of whiskies notably his own
Walkers Kilmarnock. In 1865 Johns son Alexander produced their first blend,
Walkers Old Highland.
Alexander Walker first introduced the iconic square bottle in 1870.
From 19061909 Johns grandsons George and Alexander II expanded the line and
introduced the color names.
In 1908, the whiskey was renamed from Walkers Kilmarnock Whiskies to Johnnie Walker
Johnnie Walker White was dropped during World War I.
Johnnie Walker is no longer blended in Kilmarnock, and has not been for many years. The
historic bonded warehouses and company offices (now local authority) can still be seen in
Strand Street and John Finnie Street.
On 1 July 2009, Bryan Donaghey, Diageo Managing Director for Global Supply Scotland,
announced that Diageo intended to cease production of Johnnie Walker Whisky at the
historic plant in Kilmarnock.
Red & Cola a premix of Red Label and cola, sold in cans and
bottles similar to beer.
Johnnie Walker Swing supplied in a distinctive bottle whose
irregular bottom allows it to rock back and forth. It was Alexander IIs last blend:
it features a high proportion of Speyside malts, complemented by malts from the northern
Highlands and Islay, and is almost as sweet as a bourbon.
Red Label a blend of around 35 grain and malt whiskies. It is
intended for making mixed drinks. 80 proof (40% ABV), although it drinks fine on its own,
being rather maltier than the other Walker colours. According to William Manchester this
was the favorite Scotch of Winston Churchill, who mixed it with soda. Black Label
a blend of about 40 whiskies, each aged at least 12 years. 80 proof (40% ABV).
Gold Label a blend of over 15 single malts. It was derived from
Alexander IIs blending notes for a whisky to commemorate Johnnie Walkers
centenary. His original efforts were thwarted by a shortage of these malts following World
War I. Gold Label is commonly bottled at 15 or 18 years. 80 proof (40% ABV).
Blue Label Johnnie Walkers premium blend. Every bottle is
serial numbered and sold in a silk-lined box, accompanied by a certificate of
authenticity. There is no age declaration for Blue Label, however, the owners of the plant
state that it is aged no less than 20 years. 80 proof (40% ABV). It is perhaps the most
expensive blended Scotch on the market, fetching prices upwards of $200 a bottle.