The Johnnie Walker Directors Blends with Matthew Crow
Sunday October 7th, 3:30pm
Our final masterclass of the weekend was something very special, a chance to try four whiskies that are very rarely been seen in public, let alone tasted.
Each year since 2008, Diageo have commissioned Johnnie Walker master blender Jim Beveridge and his team to create a special whisky for the directors of the company. Only a few hundred bottles are produced, using some of their most impressive stocks; these bottles are given directly to the directors, and have never been available to the general public.
We were very fortunate to be joined by blender Matthew Crow who lead us through not one but all four of these fabled bottles, exploring the fundamentals of blending, discussing the building blocks and process of putting together the iconic whiskies in the Johnnie Walker range.
Each of the yearly blends has been focused around a certain idea which has then been realised by Jim Beveridge, Matthew Crow and the blending team:
- 2008 – Inspired by the discovery of a small parcel of forgotten casks that highlight Diageo’s stocks of rare and flavoursome spirit, as well as the importance of balancing old and young whisky in a blend.
- 2009 – An exploration into the typically smoky finish of the Johnnie Walker range, offering insights into the use of peated whiskies and focusing on bold flavours.
- 2010 – A look at the mouthwatering fruitiness that accompanies the smoke of Johnnie Walker, generously using sherry casks for rich dried fruit and balancing that with fresh fruit flavours.
- 2011 – A whisky designed around the oak casks used for maturation, combining the flavours found by using different styles of wood to produce a showcase of the versatility of Johnnie Walker.