Whisky Blending

Johnnie Walker: Guide to Blending

Discover the art and science behind the world's most pioneering blend.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The blending process

The blending of Scotch whisky is both an art and a science. For Johnnie Walker, this is a depth of skill, dedication and knowledge of whisky types that stretches back nearly two centuries, to the earliest blends of the founder himself. This section takes you through the blending process. From the key ingredients, to the distilled liquid, to how these all come together to create the kind of blended malt whiskies that meet the exacting standards of our internationally renowned Master Blender, Emma Walker.

Step by step

1. We steep barley in water, then spread it on the malting floor to germinate.

2. The barley is then dried, halting germination. Peat can be burned during this process, giving our signature smokiness to the barley.

3. Dried barley is milled to produce grist.

4. The grist is mixed with hot water in the mash tun, producing a sweet liquid called wort.

5. Yeast is added to the wort. The fermentation gives a beer-like liquid called wash.

6. We use traditional copper stills to distil the wash into high-strength malt spirit.

7. The flow of the spirit from the copper stills is controlled from the spirit safe.

8. Finally, we mature the spirit in oak barrels for at least three years until the spirit is at its most flavourful.

Flavour Wheel

This essential tool is used by our blenders to help ensure they achieve the perfect balance of flavours in each of their whisky blends.

Why not try it for yourself now?

Start at the centre circle. Take a sip of whisky. Note the flavours. Now, move out through that segment and look for further depth of each of the 6 key flavours.

Flavour wheel