Johnnie Walker has unveiled the first of a portfolio of whiskies that take their inspiration from the travelling heritage of John Walker & Sons. Available only in duty-free stores, the Spice Road pays homage to the global travellers of today.
The brand has long had an affinity for travel: from 1820, the Walker family and their agents travelled the world, navigating their way down the famous trade routes: the Spice Road of Europe and Asia; the Royal Route from Europe to Persia; and the Gold Route of the Americas and the Caribbean, in pursuit of adventures bringing both new business and rich experiences. Their efforts ensured that, by the 1920s, Johnnie Walker had arrived in 120 countries and was being enjoyed on the great railways, luxury ocean liners and early transatlantic flights.
Back in London, close to the shipping houses and docks from which the Johnnie Walker agents travelled the world, Alexander Walker established the Travellers’ Room where his agents would convene to rest, talk strategy and exchange stories and samples from their travels. These colourful tales of exploration influenced the Master Blenders, who began to create different styles of whisky to reflect these exotic stories.
Today, this tradition continues as Johnnie Walker launches a range of whiskies made exclusively for travellers: the Explorers’ Club Collection™. The first three blends in the collection, collectively known as the Trade Routes Series, are inspired by the richness that could be found along the great trade routes.
The first release, Johnnie Walker The Spice Road, is an evocative expression of the vibrancy, aromas and spices that one would have discovered in the thriving markets around Asia. It is a whisky of exceptional smoothness and rich flavour, matured in old oak casks for an intense finish.
“We specially selected whiskies to create a bold blend of intriguing complexity inspired by the richness of this part of the world: there is a spicy zestiness on the nose, balanced by fresh citrus. The smooth, rich and honeyed flavours on the palate, warmed by cloves, ginger and vanilla sweetness, give way to a smouldering finish of the Johnnie Walker signature smoke,” said Master Blender Jim Beveridge.
Johnnie Walker The Spice Road will be available in duty-free boutiques in Europe, the Middle East and Australia this December, before being released globally in other duty-free stores from January 2013.