Diageo launches new Johnnie Walker

12 January, 2010

Diageo is to test launch Johnnie Walker Double Black whisky in global travel retail.

The launch of the blend marks the 100th anniversary  of the introduction of Johnnie Walker and it will be sold alongside Johnnie Walker Black Label from this month.

Johnnie Walker Double Black will be tested at six international airports - Bangkok, Dubai, Lebanon, New York (JFK), Singapore and Sydney. The five-month test period runs to the end of June 2010, with six select retail partners: Beirut Duty Free, Dubai Duty Free, DFS Singapore, International-Shoppes Duty Free, King Power International and Nuance.  The launch is supported in stores by extensive high-impact visibility, sampling and hostess support.

The 1L bottle of Johnnie Walker Double Black will retail at a price premium to Johnnie Walker Black Label and, whilst packaged in a smoky grey coloured glass bottle to reflect the smoky flavour, retains the branding elements of Johnnie Walker whiskies.

David Gates, global brand director for Johnnie Walker, said: “Interest in the Scotch whisky category continues to be high and we believe consumers want to explore the huge range of flavour experiences that a brand like Johnnie Walker can deliver. We believe that Johnnie Walker Double Black will excite consumers in the blended Scotch whisky category while delivering a fantastic tasting new blend. “

Jim Beveridge, master blender of Johnnie Walker whiskies and creator of Johnnie Walker Double Black, said: “When creating Johnnie Walker Double Black I built on the house style of Johnnie Walker whiskies, their big taste and trademark smokiness.  This was the character that was developed by three generations of Walkers in the nineteenth century, and owed much to the Walker’s proximity to the West Coast whisky producing regions that were traditionally home to the most strongly flavoured single malts. I then nuanced the original Walker recipe by adding more heavily peated malt whiskies, and by choosing some that have been aged in deeply charred oak casks, to give the blend the additional intensity.”