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Still walking two hundred years later

Still walking two hundred years later

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Johnnie Walker, the Scottish grocer who created one of the world’s greatest whiskies.

Born on 25 July 1805, John Walker inherited his family grocery shop in Kilmarnock on the west coast of Scotland, where he learned to blend teas. He quickly realised that he could use the same principles for blending whisky.

Johnnie Walker went on to develop a whisky range that has been enjoyed worldwide for the last 200 years and can be counted on to be around for many years to come.

As one of Scotland’s earliest whisky blending pioneers, Johnnie Walker helped create a range which has now won more awards than any other whisky in the world.

Ian Low, the Global Brand Ambassador for Johnnie Walker, recently visited New Zealand for the Lions Tour in the month that coincides with Johnnie Walker’s 200th birthday.

“It was great that Ian was able to host an impromptu tasting at such a landmark time in the history of Johnnie Walker,” says Scott Fairbairn, Senior Brand Manager for Johnnie Walker.

“Ian has worked with whisky for more than 45 years and with Johnnie Walker for 41 years, so he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him.”

Ian held the position of Master of Blending for Johnnie Walker until 1990, before switching to Global Brand Ambassador.

In this role, Ian has been instrumental in launching new Johnnie Walker products into respective markets across the globe, in particular the Johnnie Walker Green Label.

June saw the launch of Johnnie Walker Green into New Zealand. It has been launched nationwide after an initial launch into selected on premise accounts.

“We have had a great uptake with the NZ launch,” says Fairbairn “the Green Label has unique taste characteristics and we have seen a strong demand from both on-premise and liquor retail outlets, well ahead of our initial forecasts.”

The Johnnie Walker brand in New Zealand is now stronger than ever and its association with golf must take some credit for this. Johnnie Walker was proud to sponsor the New Zealand Golf Open in February and is looking forward to 2006 when Michael Campbell is set to participate.

On the 25th of July when Johnnie Walker blows out 200 candles on his birthday cake, why not help celebrate by having a dram of the world’s favourite whisky: Johnnie Walker.


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