Upon his father's death in 1820, a young grocer named Johnnie Walker invested his £417 inheritance into a grocery and spirits shop on High Street in Scotland. While Walker himself was a teetotaler, he sold a popular single malt whisky under the name Walker's Kilmarnock Whisky. When Walker retired from the store in the 1850s, whisky sales represented just 8% of the store's business.
In 1857, Alexander Walker — Johnnie Walker's eldest son — inherited the store and began improving its selection of single malt Scotch whiskies. In addition, Alexander had apprenticed with a tea merchant in Glasgow and there, had learned the art of blending tea. Under his stewardship, the House of Walker began blending whisky and bottling it in an iconic, square bottle adorned with a slanted label. By the time Alexander Walker retired in the 1880s, whisky sales represented over 95% of the store's business.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V Scotch Whisky pays homage to the Royal Warrant bestowed to the Walker Family in 1934 by King George V (a Royal Warrant permits the owner of a product to sell that product to British royalty).
The blend is personally crafted by Johnnie Walker's Master Blender James Beveridge. "I think of blending as being like the process of writing," says Beveridge. "Is the final book just a series of words, a lot of facts and information, or has it been put together with care and attention so that the end result will relate to the person who reads it? I like to think that we have made that connection."
Johnnie Walker King George V is handcrafted exclusively from rare whiskies that were produced at distilleries that operated during the reign of King George V. As a result, the blend includes whiskies such as Port Ellen (Port Ellen Distillery closed in 1983) and has more restraint and sophistication as compared to traditional Johnnie Walker Blue Label. King George V has a slightly smoky aroma that is followed by hints of fresh fruit, malt, raisins, figs and cinnamon. Profound notes of rich chocolate, sandalwood, smoke, and citrus dominate the palate, and lead to a mouth-warming, lingering finish that has a touch of maple syrup.
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