Collection Johnnie Walker - Blended Scotch Whisky

Johnnie Walker is a Scottish whiskey brand, now owned by Diageo, which originated in the Scottish town of Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire. The brand was initially founded by grocer John Walker. It is the most widely distributed blended Scotch whiskey brand in the world, sold in almost every country.

John Walker was born on July 25, 1805. His farmer father died in 1819, and the family sold the farm. Their trustees invested the proceeds, £417, in an Italian warehouse, grocery, and wine and spirits shop on the High Street in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland. Walker managed the grocery, wine, and spirits segment as a teenager in 1820. The Excise Act of 1823 relaxed strict laws on the distillation of whiskey and reduced, by a considerable amount, the extremely heavy taxes on the distillation and sale of whiskey. By 1825, Walker, a teetotaller, was selling spirits, including rum, brandy, gin, and whiskey.

In short order, he switched to dealing mainly in whiskey. Since blending of grain and malt whiskeys was still banned, he sold both blended malt whiskeys and grain whiskeys. They were sold as made-to-order whiskies, blended to meet specific customer requirements, because he did not have any brand of his own. He began using his name on labels years later, selling a blended malt as Walker's Kilmarnock Whisky. John Walker died in 1857.

The brand became popular, but after Walker's death it was primarily his son Alexander "Alec" Walker and grandson Alexander Walker II who were responsible for establishing the whiskey as the preferred brand. The Spirits Act of 1860 legalized the blending of grain and malt whiskey and ushered in the modern era of blended Scotch whiskey. Lighter and sweeter, blended Scotch whiskey was more accessible and much more marketable to a wider audience. Edinburgh's Andrew Usher was the first to create a blended whisky, but the Walkers followed in due course.