Johnnie Walker is the big dog in the Scotch Whisky industry!
After launching in the mid-1800s, the Johnnie Walker brand has continued to elevate and reach the pinnacle of success. So much so that Johnnie Walker is the most sold scotch whisky on the market today.
When you think of scotch whisky, Johnnie Walker stands front and center.
Let's get acquainted with John Walker, the whisky-making process, the labels, some cocktail recipes, and the best whisky mixers.
What happens when you take a man who strives in business and loves whisky? You get John Walker.
It's 1820, and Walker decides to sell the family farm and open a grocery store. He began blending the single malt whiskies he had in stock to make blended whisky. His blends became popular quite quickly.
When John Walker passed away in 1857, he left everything to his son Alexander, who, like his father, had a knack for business.
By 1867, Alexander launched his first whisky, known as Old Highland Whisky.
By 1908, the label names came about, and the striding man became the symbol of the Johnnie Walker brand. By 1920, the whisky brand was available in over 120 different countries.
And over the years, Johnnie Walker has continued to flourish. That's Johnnie Walker, not Johnny Walker!
They've added several more labels to the brand, and the collection continues to grow. What started with a grocery store quickly became the foundation of the leading scotch whisky in the world.
You read that right. Johnnie Walker is #1 in scotch whisky globally!
Johnnie Walker's Whisky-Making Process
There are five essential steps to making whisky. Here's how it goes:
First, there's the malting step. This step is when the starches need to convert into soluble sugar. Hot water is added to warm the mixture; thus, malting occurs when the cereal germinates.
Second, we're off to the kiln for drying. Often, peat is added during the drying process to help and add a smoky flavor to the whisky. Once drying is complete, the cereal is ground in a mill.
After grounding, we're ready for fermentation. First, dry cereal is mixed with hot water to draw out the sugars. Then, you get a hot, sweet liquid that separates and needs to cool down. Once cool, you add yeast, fermentation begins, and a beer forms.
Time for distilling! Twice! The distilling takes the beer, making it more intense with a higher level of alcohol. Think copper stills and a lot of boiling, and you have yourself a distillation process.
Finally, it's time to mature. The maturation process occurs in oak casks for at least three years. The whisky gets its rich coloring and intense flavoring during the maturation process.
Johnnie Walker Labels
Over the years, the Johnnie Walker collection has grown and grown. What was initially known as Old Highland Whisky became a collection of labels. Now, the Johnnie Walker bottles are known by label and color.
Although we're all quite familiar with the labels, Johnnie Walker also makes some popular whisky options that are not named by label. A few include Johnnie Walker Swing, Johnnie Walker Aged 18 Years, and Johnnie Walker High Rye.
Here's a breakdown of what some popular labels, how long they're aged, smell, taste, and finish:
Johnnie Walker Black Label
Aged: 12 years
Smell: Sweet vanilla
Taste: Toffee, sweet fruit, and subtle spice
Johnnie Walker Red Label
Aged: 12 years
Taste: Black pepper and cinnamon
Finish: Long and smoky
Johnnie Walker Green Label
Aged: 15 years
Smell: Garden fruits and florals
Taste: Wood, oak, and cedar
Johnnie Walker Double Black
Smell: Sweet smoke and spice
Taste: Rich peat, dried fruits, and vanilla
Finish: Long and warm
Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve
Smell: Honey and wood
Taste: Tropical fruit and vanilla
Finish: Sweet and smoky
Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Smell: Spice, vanilla, and honey
Taste: Caramel, hazelnut, and dark chocolate
Finish: Long, warm, and smoky
Two Delicious Ways To Enjoy Johnnie Walker Whisky
Johnnie Walker Whisky is a whisky that tastes impeccably all on its own. Drink it neat, over ice, or however you please. It works each and every way.
But if you like to spruce up your whisky with some extra fixings, here are two exquisite ways to enjoy your Johnnie Walker Whisky.
A Johnnie Walker Old Fashioned
An Old Fashioned is arguably the best and most popular way to enjoy your whisky in cocktail form. It's a classic cocktail that's ready in two minutes.
If the idea of an egg white in your cocktail scares you, skip this step. You can make a Whiskey Sour with it.
Add your Johnnie Walker Black Label, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white, and Angostura bitters into a cocktail shaker without ice. Shake for 10 seconds. This is a dry shake. All "dry shake" means is to shake without ice.
Once you're done dry shaking, add a handful of fresh ice to your shaker and shake again. You want to shake vigorously.
After shaking, strain it into a glass.
Garnish with a lemon peel, and you're ready to serve! Enjoy!
The Best Whisky Mixers
Although whisky is spectacular all on its own, whisky also works great with a simple mixer. Most of the time, it's something you already have at home.
First, we have ginger ale or ginger beer. Ginger with whisky is the ultimate combo! The flavors marry together flawlessly.
Next, we have a classic Coca-Cola mixer. It makes for a rich and smooth drink, something you will surely enjoy!
Johnnie Walker is delicious alongside a lemon-lime soda. Spruce it up even further by adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Go a step further and garnish your glass with a lemon slice! It's delicious and refreshing.
If you're not a fan of soda but what something with some citrus goodness, add some lemonade to your whisky. It creates a zesty beverage.
And finally, iced teas are always delicious with a splash of your favorite whisky. It doesn't need to be a basic iced black tea, either. Pair your whisky with a delicious iced green tea or iced peach tea.