A Guide to J&B
History and Heritage
J&B is unlike any other scotch: Inspired by an Italian, created in London and distilled in Scotland.
In 1749, Italian master distiller Giacamo Justerini (the “J” in J&B) came to London in pursuit of opera singer Margherita Bellini. Although his love was unrequited, Margherita had a part to play in introducing the distiller to his future business partner, George Johnson.
Two generations later, Alfred Brooks, the other initial in J&B, bought the company and changed its name to Justerini & Brooks. Brooks heard of Andrew Usher, an Edinburgh Spirit merchant, who liked to experiment and was the first person to commercially blend whisky and asked him to create a smoother blend for a new audience.
Usher brought on board fellow Scot, James Anderson and together they developed the J&B Club blend, one of the earliest Scotch house blends. By 1900 Usher and Anderson were the new owners of Justerini & Brooks.
In 1918, Eddie Tatham, who was a family friend of James Anderson’s joined the company and was soon offered the position of director. Tatham visited the USA during Prohibition and came up with the idea of creating J & B Rare, with the American audience in mind for when Prohibition came to an end.
From here, Tatham met a blender called Charlie Julian who was known for his great nose, refined palate and instinctive knowledge of consumer demands. Together, Tatham and Julian began the blending process for J & B Rare which resulted in a complex blend of 42 malt and grain whiskies.
J & B Rare was ready just in time for the end of Prohibition and with clever marketing techniques such as product placement it became very popular. In fact, by 1963, J & B Rare was selling a million cases a year in the USA.
Today, J&B celebrates over 250 years of history and is popular with guests all around the world.
J&B Rare has a fruity, fresh quality that makes it an ideal whisky for mixing. Its blend of 42 whiskies is perfectly balanced, with no individual flavour outweighing the others. It’s one of the finest whiskies for mixing and one of the biggest blended whiskies in the world.
The Godfather is a cocktail that truly brings to life J&B’s fruity freshness.