EXPERIMENTAL FLAVOUR EXPERIENCES
JOHNNIE WALKER BLENDERS’ BATCH WHISKIES
Staring at the remains of a successful shift through the steam of a well-earned espresso - whisky blending will be as far from your mind as might be possible.
Bartenders and blenders share a lot of similarities. Both are alchemists - they mix, match and experiment with flavour to create something fresh and unique, every time. And both share a passion for exploring new ideas through taste.
The recent limited edition whiskies - Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Wine Cask Blend, Rum Cask Finish and Espresso Roast - are experimental in nature, the result of many experiments carried out by our 12 Whisky Masters. And, just as you have new twists on an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan - our whisky experts are always exploring unique flavour combinations they hope will find their way into the latest cocktails.
This is why our small team of experts who developed these whiskies, opened their doors to leading bartenders and taste pioneers from around the world including Ryan Chetiyawardana (owner of Dandelyan, number two on the 2017 list of the World’s 50 Best Bars) and Andrew Ferreira (World Class Bartender of the Year 2017 Ireland). In a meeting of minds, they were invited to experiment with the new whiskies.
For Whisky Master, Aimée Gibson, who led the development of the latest series of Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch whiskies, it was an exciting opportunity to share new ideas: “As blenders we collaborate a great deal and love the chance to work with bartenders. It gives us a well-rounded understanding of the possibilities in flavour.”
She adds: “It was fascinating to see Ryan craft The Fertado using cardamom and raspberries - it’s a remarkable combination for the Espresso Roast.”
NEW EXPERIMENTS FOR UNIQUE FLAVOURS
These whiskies developed from ideas about flavour, Aimée explains: “Wine Cask Blend is the result of an experiment in maturation of whisky in former wine casks. Some of these whiskies were blended with others to create a Scotch with fragrant aromas that we want bartenders to have fun with.”
Mica Rousseau, World Class Bartender of the Year Mexico 2016, who also attended the collaboration session with Johnnie Walker, loved talking about taste with our Whisky Masters: “From the very first sip of Wine Cask Blend you get a real surprise. It’s a unique, sweet and charming liquid but the DNA of Johnnie Walker is still there. I loved talking about different tastes with the blenders and coming up with new serves,” he says.
Similarly, Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast is the result of a series of experiments with whiskies distilled using barley roasted more heavily than ever before. From this, Aimée developed a deliciously rich, smooth and meticulously crafted Scotch with punchy notes of rich coffee and dark chocolate.
Rum Cask Finish was developed by Aimée’s colleague Chris Clark. By finishing the whisky in former rum casks, Chris says he wanted to highlight the fruity flavours found in the Scotch Whisky. The result is a smooth, spicy and sweet blended Scotch that draws on whiskies from handpicked distilleries in Speyside and the Lowlands of Scotland.
JOHNNIE WALKER BLACK LABEL
Johnnie Walker Black Label resulted from bold experiments in flavour featuring more than 30 Malt and Grain Whiskies over a century ago. Blenders’ Batch whiskies continue that heritage of flavour exploration and offer another great opportunity to explore and experiment with Scotch again.
Our collaboration resulted in these great serves (below) that are bound to take you on your own journey of flavour exploration.
The Fertado by Ryan Chetiyawardana
- 50ml Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast
- 10ml Campari
- 20ml Lemon
- 10ml Pineapple Syrup
- 1 black cardamom pod
- 2 raspberries
Shake and strain all ingredients and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Ryan Chetiyawardana, known as Mr Lyan, was awarded the World's Best Bartender 2015 and is considered one of the most influential bartenders around. He opened White Lyan, now Super Lyan, in Hoxton, London in 2013, and Dandelyan, at the Mondrian London, in 2014, and published a book, Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan and Friends, in 2015.
(2.1 standard drinks* - 2.2 units per serve - 18.9g)
Cider Slider by Andrew Ferreira
- 50ml Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish
- 25ml elderflower infused white wine-based aperitif
- 2 pineapple chunks
- 15ml pineapple syrup
- 15ml lemon juice
- 40 ml apple cider
Muddle pineapple. Mix all ingredients and throw before serving in a Collins glass with cubed ice. Garnish with fresh elderflower sprig.
Andrew Ferreira is the World Class Bartender of the Year Winner 2017 Ireland. Hailing from Cork, Ireland he has travelled the world bartending and is the manager of cocktail bar Cask. He places an emphasis on farm to glass cocktails and whenever possible he uses locally foraged ingredients.
(2.1 standard drinks* - 2.14 units per serve - 16.9g)
Scottish Carajillo by Mica Rousseau
- 50 ml Johnnie Walker Blenders Batch Espresso Roast
- 20ml orange liqueur
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 dash bitters
- 5ml vanilla syrup
Serve on ice with an orange twist and fudge cube then stir.
Mica Rousseau is one of the top mixologists in Mexico, having led the signature cocktail experience at Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City since 2013, including the launch of the hotel’s creative bar concept Fifty Mils. In 2016 Mica won the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year for Mexico.
Mica’s passion for mixology makes him a great match for our blenders who are natural experimenters and use their own scientific knowledge and intuition to discover new possibilities in flavour.
(2.7 standard drinks* - 2.8 units per serve - 22.1g)
(*Grams of alcohol calculated according to one UK standard drink containing 8g of alcohol.)
BEHIND THE BARREL: AN INTERVIEW WITH EMMA WALKER
We talk to Emma about her career, changing whisky consumption and what it’s like to be a female whisky maker in the modern industry.
JOHNNIE WALKER BLENDERS’ BATCH RED RYE FINISH
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