Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare Edition Brora
Johnnie Walker Master Blender, Dr. Jim Beveridge, has long been fascinated by how whiskies from a small number of iconic distilleries that closed many years ago can bring the extraordinary richness for which Johnnie Walker Blue Label luxury Scotch is known.
In crafting Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Brora, Jim blended the three ghost whiskies with five rare expressions of malt and grains from the existing distilleries of Royal Lochnagar, Clynelish, Glenkinchie, Glenlossie and Cameronbridge.
The result is a wonderfully smooth Scotch, with the fruity sweetness of pineapple, rich notes of hazelnut and dark chocolate and a subtle smoky finish.
The earliest whisky was fairly bracing stuff, distilled almost exclusively by monks. It was never allowed to mature and tended to be very raw, as befitted a drink that was seen primarily as a medicine, used in the treatment of everything from pox to palsy.
Then along came Henry VIII who dissolved the monasteries and turned out the monks, whereupon whisky production made its way into the cottages and homesteads of regular Scots.
Over time, these ‘home distillers’ refined the process and discovered that whisky could be a pleasurable experience in its own right.
Fast forward to the early 19th Century and a dram of whisky was a staple of life in Scotland. Some became quite widely available, usually through your local grocer’s shop. The trouble was that these scotch whiskies weren’t always that consistent. The one you enjoyed yesterday might taste completely different tomorrow.
For one young man named John Walker - the proprietor of a grocer's in Kilmarnock - this wasn't good enough. He wanted his customers to enjoy the same quality and flavor time after time after time. So he began to blend them together until he produced a scotch whisky he was happy to put his name to.
And the rest, as they say, is history.