Johnnie Walker‘s latest release from their Blue Label Ghost and Rare series, which first launched in 2017 with Brora and continued with Port Ellen in 2018, marks the third special bottling created by Master Blender Jim Beveridge. In celebration of their 200th anniversary next year in 2020, Johnnie Walker is honouring it with something rare and remarkable — the Glenury Royal blended Scotch whisky. Crafted with treasured and one-of-a-kind whiskies, the blend comes from a handful of “ghost” distilleries that have long-closed. By exploring these irreplaceable whiskies, Johnnie Walker is able to reveal some incredible new layers of whisky and unique flavours like never before. What’s more, only one in every 10,000 casks of whisky produced are considered suitable to be used in their rare blend of unparalleled Scotch whisky.
At the heart of this new release is the iconic Highland distillery Glenury Royal which shut its doors in 1985. Before it closed, the storied Scottish malt whisky distillery was a flourishing business and one of only three Scottish distilleries to receive a Royal title. It was founded in 1825 by Captain Robert Barclay, a member of British Parliament and a well-known Scottish walker. In fact, he was most remembered for winning a bet in 1809 for walking 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours. He did this to win 1,000 guineas which is about HK$10,575 in modern money. Today, Barclay’s rare whisky has continued to mature and it is at this time that Beveridge and the Johnnie Walker team are making use of its unique indulgent character.
Two more exceptionally rare whiskies from ghost distilleries, Cambus and Pittyvaich in Scotland, have also been selected for the blend. In terms of taste profile, they brings about a balance — combining creamy tones of chewy toffee and butterscotch with the fruity and bright accents of apple and apricot that come through from Glenury Royal. Moreover, another five rare whiskies add further layers of flavour. This comes from Glen Elgin, Inchgower, Glenlossie, Cameronbridge and Glenkinchie, which bring aromas of warm vanilla, floral honey and sweet dried fruit. This weaves through an earthiness of dark chocolate with a slight nuttiness and smoky character, making it one of Johnnie Walker’s most indulgent limited edition Blue Label Ghost and Rare whiskies yet.
The ultimate way to enjoy the Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and of course the Blue Label Ghost & Rare Series, is to serve it straight with a glass of chilled water on the side. By sipping the water first, you cleanse the palate before taking on the whisky’s complex layers of flavour. In addition, it will allow some water to mix with the whisky and as a result, reveal the strength of Blue Label in a smooth and rich manner.