I am continually amazed at the increasing price of scotch and newest, most exclusive bottlings being released by blenders and distillers. Here are a couple that underscore my point. These are new offerings from Johnnie Walker and Highland Park. I am a fan of both producers but I haven’t been fortunate enough to try either (and I probably won’t be). No word on either of these coming stateside but I find these ultra-premium offerings intriguing none the less. They are awfully pretty though. Consider it whisky-porn for lack of a better reason. Here are their press releases.
The John Walker…
THE JOHN WALKER BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY- A TRIBUTE TO THE FOUNDING FATHER OF JOHNNIE WALKER.
To mark the start of a new decade, the House of Walker celebrates the life of its founder with the launch of The John Walker (RRP £2,000), an incredibly special blend of whisky that is the epitome of the Johnnie Walker Blue family of scotch whiskies.
Hand-crafted and made to order in single barrel batches with only 330 bottles available, The John Walker embodies rarity and exclusivity. Presented in a unique, individually numbered Baccarat crystal decanter that is hand blown, polished and engraved by one of only three Master-craftsmen in the world; The John Walker contains whisky blended from 9 hand selected casks. Building from the predecessors “Johnnie Walker Blue Label” and “King George V”, this blend takes the idea of hand selection of extraordinary casks, and takes that to new levels of rarity and craft. Every care has been made to recreate the authentic flavours of a 19th Century blend in John Walker’s original style and the whisky has been taken from a range of distilleries, some of which are now closed; making this whisky quite literally priceless.
The John Walker is the ultimate luxury gift for any discerning gentleman. Encasing the gift is a hand crafted lacquer cabinet with over 60 hours of workmanship used to create the eleven layers of lacquer and luxurious cream leather interior. No detail is left to chance from the Baccarat cut crystal stopper to the 24 Carat Gold plated neck collar and travel stopper.
Inside, the taste of The John Walker whisky starts in sophisticated fashion with the richness of mature fruits slowly following from the more youthful aromas of fresh citrus. The initial burst of flavour is defined by a vanilla oak sweetness, with the Older Speyside whiskies contributing to the amazing smoothness. These casks are designed to give wonderful malty flavours, characteristic of classic 19th Century whiskies. Cambus grain whisky is the unifying force that binds the great Malt whiskies together in “The John Walker”, combining to make a stunning tasting experience.
The John Walker has a RRP of £2,000 and is available exclusively from Harrods.
Highland Park 50 Year Old…
Highland Park 50 Year Old is the distillery’s oldest and most prestigious release. Only 275 bottles of this remarkable Limited Edition are available. It is a vatting of five casks distilled in 1960. Like all Highland Park, the 50 year old has been cask-harmonised, that is to say, refilled into casks upon reaching maturity in order to ensure perfect balance and consistency.
Highland Park 50 Year Old has been bottled at 44.8% abv to ensure the full impact of the rich, complex flavours that come from a lifetime of maturation.
Inspired by the elemental forces of Orkney, each bottle is hand-crafted from sterling silver and designed by Maeve Gillies, an internationally-renowned designer of engagement rings and bridal jewellery based in New York. Maeve is also a Global Scot, a business ambassador for Scotland. Her design for Highland Park 50 Year Old celebrates Orkney; in particular the influence of the sea, wild weather and the passage of time.
If you have visited the distillery you will know that the Orkney Islands offer an unspoilt environment of breath-taking beauty and clarity. They are much influenced by their location; the sea, wind and rain all combine to create a unique micro-climate. The triumph of Highland Park 50 Year Old is that the design retains the purity of the original inspiration, that of Orkney itself. The beautiful, bespoke bottle with its hand-fitted sterling silver cage is a suitably stunning setting for such a venerable single malt.
Highland Park 50 Year Old is available at £10,000 per bottle and is limited to 275 bottles.
The John Walker is only available through Harrods right now and the Highland Park 50 Year is available through their store.