The art and science behind the world’s most pioneering blend

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, award-winning Master Blender, Jim Beveridge.

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 flavorful.

The Johnnie Walker 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. Finally, click the name to reveal the true flavours behind the blend.

Select a label

select a flavour cue

Malty
meaty cereal
fresh fruit
gravy
tropical fruit
bovril
peaches & bananas
roast meat
ripe fruit
nutty
citrus
chocolate
pine essence
bran
bubble gum
weetabix
cooked wheat
horlicks
fresh
floral
vegetative
cut grass
spent matches
apples & pears
cabbage
perfumed
sulphury
scented
musty
gorse
moss
clover
wax
woody
wood
vanilla
sandalwood
coconut
cigar box
cream soda
sawdust
fudge
resin
sweet
oak
spicy
spice
oily
cinnamon
cooking oil
ginger
buttery
tobacco
linseed
pencil rubber
chardonnay
blackcurrant
fruity
sweet
dried fruit
honey
treacle
fruit preserve
raisins & saltanas
sugary
dried figs
toffee
mince pies
fruit cake
Peaty
medicinal
smoky
tcp
bonfires
iodine
peat reek
surgical spirit
lapsang souchong
carbolic soap
kippery
creosote
smoked salmon
fresh peat
damp embers