Johnnie Walker’s Celebratory Blend launches as other 200th anniversary limited editions are released

Johnnie Walker’s Celebratory Blend launches as other 200th anniversary limited editions are released

The Celebratory Blend is one of three special bottlings released by Johnnie Walker, the world’s best selling Scotch whisky, for its 200th anniversary.

The other two new whiskies are the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Legendary Eight and the John Walker & Sons Bicentennial Blend. The brand is also commemorating this year’s significant date with a specially designed pack for the regular Blue Label bottling. The three new whiskies are all limited editions and have been created by Jim Beveridge OBE, the Master Blender for Johnnie Walker, and his team of blenders at Diageo.

2020 marks 200 years since John Walker first opened the doors to a small grocery store in rural Scotland, setting in motion a chain of events that would change the world of Scotch whisky forever. This is a limited edition release inspired by the first commercial blend ‘Old Highland Whisky’ the first of the brand’s whiskies to be exported from Scotland to the four corners of the world.

As John Walker opened the doors to his grocery store two hundred years ago, you are now invited to do the same when you open this celebratory Scotch whisky blend to unveil the historic image of where our journey began. A lot has changed since those early days, but Johnnie Walker’s entrepreneurial spirit remains the same.


The John Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend is inspired by a breakthrough moment, the release of ‘Old Highland Whisky’ in the 1860s, which was created primarily for export and became the first of our whiskies to travel from Scotland to the four corners of the world. With more whisky being sold overseas, the iconic design of the square bottle and uniquely slanted label were distinct and helped the name stand out against other whiskies.

John Walker Celebratory Blend whisky

“John Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend is a sensorial journey featuring notes of sweet dried raisins, subtle spice and marzipan, which develop into hints of roasted nuts, icing sugar sweetness and gentle peat, with a soft pepper finish. It celebrates an historic moment in the our story.”

Jim Beveridge, Johnnie Walker Master Blender


On the nose this whisky has sweet dried raisins, subtle spice and marzipan.

The palate develops hints of roasted nuts, icing sugar sweetness and gentle peat.

The finish is soft pepper.



Johnnie Walker Blue Label Legendary Eight is a smooth, mellow Scotch made using some of the rarest whiskies from across the untamed wilds of Scotland, including exceptionally rare whiskies from ‘ghost’ distilleries. Each whisky is hand selected from eight legendary distilleries – featured on the bottle and pack – that existed when John Walker made his first steps embarking on this journey that began 200 years ago.

A small team of 12 expert whisky makers came together to create this exceptional Scotch inspired by rare whiskies from these iconic and pioneering distilleries. This new limited edition release of Johnnie Walker Blue Label is a rare jewel crafted using Scotch from the legendary distilleries of Oban, Blair Athol, Lagavulin, Teaninich, Brora, Cambus, Port Dundas and Carsebridge.

Johnnie Walker Legendary Eight whisky


Since John Walker first opened the doors to the public in 1820, Johnnie Walker has never stopped in the pursuit of excellence. This passion led to the exceptional quality and depth of flavour that consumers now find in every drop of Johnnie Walker whisky. This rare whisky embodies 200 years of bold and passionate craft, bottled for this moment.

“It’s fascinating to reflect on the idea that these famous distilleries also walked a 200-year journey and their whiskies still inspire us today. This new limited edition celebrates that shared experience and the contribution these rare whiskies continue to make to Johnnie Walker today and into tomorrow.”

Jim Beveridge, Johnnie Walker Master Blender


The blend is rich with layers of brown sugars, soft fruit and sweet wood. These flavours evolve to reveal hints of green apple and a subtle zest; complementing the gentle peat unfolding in the background to give an overarching warming sensation.

A wonderful sweetness envelops the taste buds, through which notes of stone fruits, stewing apples and cocoa emerge.

A wisp of smoke comes through to deepen the flavour resulting in a soft and lightly peppered finish.



The founder John Walker first opened the doors of a small grocery store 200 years ago in Kilmarnock that would go on to change the world of whisky forever. John Walker & Sons Bicentenary Blend is an exclusive whisky that celebrates this journey.

The aisles of John Walker’s store were packed with the exotic ingredients that marked this rich era of exploration, flavours and scents from across the globe – Hyson tea from China, dark pepper from Jamaica, Italian liquorice, and, of course, Scotch whisky.

From their vibrant store teeming with produce, John, his son Alexander and later his grandsons, began their pursuit of creating whiskies which none could rival by bringing together whisky from the four corners of Scotland.

John Walker & Sons Bicentenary Blend is a sensorial journey through the fragrant aisles of where it all began back in 1820.

Johnnie Walker Bicentenary blend whisky


Master Blender Jim Beveridge and his small team of expert whisky makers have drawn inspiration from the thrilling flavours listed on an original inventory from John Walker’s store. Using this as a window into the world where John started, they have meticulously crafted a complex whisky with rich layers that re-imagines the kaleidoscope of exotic flavours that shaped the founder’s imagination.

Rare and exceptional whiskies, including ghost stocks from the distilleries of Pittyvaich, Cambus and Port Ellen, all at least 28 years old, have been explored to craft a whisky that reimagines the exotic flavours of the 1820s.


A complex, rich whisky with layers of flavour in which an array of fruit aromas come together in harmony, balanced with warming spices and a soft, rolling smoke redolent of the rich array of exotic goods on offer. Dried fruit such as sultanas and figs are sweetened by hints of candied ginger, before berries, brown sugar and aromatic spices fill up the senses.

The first sip opens the doors to reveal delicious layers of spice mingling with sweet honey and rich molasses inspired by the rows of tempting jars. Waves of sultanas, cocoa beans and herbal notes are carried on wisps of soft smoke leading you further down the aisles of John’s store with every sip.

A sweet spice lingers as the door closes behind you.



As seen on Duty Free Hunter:

Johnnie Walker celebrates 200th anniversary with four exclusive releases

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