Johnnie Walker’s new blends
What happens when pioneers in whiskey get together with food and drink visionaries to explore new worlds of flavour?Scotch Whiskey brand Johnnie Walker made it its quest to find out as part of its latest lorations in flavour.exp
The result is the launch of three exciting new whiskies – Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Wine Cask Blend, Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish and Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast – borne out of over 100 ongoing Scotch experiments by the brand’s small team of 12 expert blenders, and influenced by flavour cultures from around the world.
To celebrate the release of the whiskies, Johnnie Walker has launched a series of short films showcasing the blenders’ collaboration with taste innovators such as renowned American chef Edward Lee, British barista James Hoffmann, sommelier André Mack, Caribbean culinary genius Jason Howard and some of the world’s most celebrated bartenders.
The films provide a behind-the-scenes look at some passionate discussions on new taste combinations, with blenders Aimée Gibson and Chris Clark meeting flavour experts and lifting the lid on the whisky maker’s ongoing experimentations into flavour – all of which are carried out under the guidance of Master Blender Jim Beveridge at the brand’s home in Scotland.
“Our short films are a window into our endless quest for new taste experiences in Scotch”, said Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge, who is a two-time Master Blender of the Year.
Jim continued: “Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch whiskies are the result of bold experiments that push the boundaries in flavour – just as Johnnie Walker Black Label did more than a century ago. Over time that experimental blend has gone on to become a true icon of Scotch all around the world.”
Aimée Gibson, who led the development of Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Wine Cask Blend, added: “With these new whiskies we wanted to make blends that can be enjoyed by all tastes, and especially by those people who might previously have thought that whisky isn’t for them.
“We know how to make exceptional Scotch, we’ve been making it for years. However, by opening our doors to some of the world’s foremost experts in food and drink, I feel we’ve been able to unlock new flavour and aroma combinations in our latest whiskies that are culturally relevant and that will excite new and seasoned whisky lovers.”
For Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast, Gibson experimented with whiskies distilled using barley roasted more heavily than ever before resulting in punchy notes of rich coffee and dark chocolate which have been brought to life in the Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast Speciality cocktail, which features coffee liqueur, sweet vermouth and lemon zest.
The third blend to be released in the range, Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish, was the culmination of blender Chris Clark’s experimentation with whisky finished in casks which previously held Caribbean pot still rum. Caribbean chef Jason Howard played with the whisky’s smooth and spicy flavours and believes it is best enjoyed in the Johnnie Walker Rum Cask Blend Steel Drum Cooler cocktail that uses pineapple juice and ginger root to, as Jason puts it, ‘awaken your palate to the layers of fruity, spicy and sweet flavours brought to life in Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish’.
Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Wine Cask Blend is launching in selected 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 are available globally at some of the world’s best bars from October 2017.