As the luxury whisky market continues to boom, more and more Scotch whisky companies are seeking to catch up with Macallan, eagerly jumping in with new high-end releases. Blended whisky brands are also looking to catch up, however these blended brands already edged into the premium market with bottles that are as expensive as some of the most costly single malts. Now, Johnnie Walker has stepped the competition up as it released its oldest whisky yet – the 50-year-old John Walker Masters’ Edition.
Johnnie Walker Masters’ Edition was named after the famed blended whisky’s original creator, while only 100 bottles are available. The Masters’ Edition is made from whisky that was drawn from six distilleries that existed during the lifetime of the label’s founder, John Walker.
Top premium whiskies are sold at high-end prices, which leads to Johnnie Walkers $25,000 bottle, which is one of the most expensive bottles ever released from the company. Each bottle is individually numbered, while the whisky is presented in a rare double-cased black crystal Baccarat decanter that is housed in a cabinet made by N.E.J. Stevenson.
The whisky was bottled at cask strength of 43.2 percent ABV. The taste of the whisky is “luscious blackcurrants and citrus giving way to rich, creamy dark chocolate and a long, gentle and warming finish with cooling menthol and a subtle smokiness,” as Johnnie Walker described.
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.”
For this particular whisky, Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge sourced malts from Glen Albyn, Glenury Royal and Blair Athol distilleries. It also used grain whiskies from the distilleries of Caledonian, Cambus and Port Dundas.
From there, the whiskies were then married together in a special bespoke cask. “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,” he said. “About 20 years ago, Johnnie Walker blenders recognized 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.”