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By Michael Hepworth

Encouraged by the world wide success of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Whisky that has become the whisky of choice for the corporate gift set; the company has just announced the launch of Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V Edition. The blend celebrates the coveted Royal Warrant that was issued to the company in 1934, which also happened to be during the reign of King George V (1910-1936). Royal Warrants are not handed out to just anybody, and even today, a company that has the warrant can expect to have a major increase in sales due to the prestige associated with it.

Only 60,000 bottles are to be put on the market, with 7,300 of them to be released in the USA for a retail price of $600. All bottles will be presented in an exclusive crystal decanter, and a numbered certificate of authenticity. The special case, and will be specially coded to prevent counterfeiting, a burgeoning problem in the booming ultra-premium liquor world.  The blend took two years to perfect by Johnnie Walker’s team of master blenders, and contains rare and valuable whiskies from their vaults, including the coveted Port Ellen Islay Single Malt. Port Ellen has now closed for good and the remaining stock is kept under lock and key, with security as tight as Fort Knox .

I did get a chance to try the blend at a private tasting, and could quickly tell after tasting it, that this was a very expansive big whisky with a wonderful smoky/spicy flavor. Adding a drop of water makes it even more luscious, and a hint of apples and pears come out in the taste. The clever blend of old Scottish West Coast whiskies combined with younger types from the Speyside region gives this whisky its flavor. The lengthy distillation process produces a whisky that is 43% alcohol by volume. 

The Johnnie Walker Company are probably the best known whisky company in the world, and the marketing blurb will tell you that 4 bottles of Johnnie Walker are consumed every second. That is of course primarily the Red, Black, Gold and Green labels, but I think that this blend will become a collector’s item. So if you have a few grand lying around and want to make some money (tax free) in twenty or thirty years, why not buy a case and store it away.


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