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Diageo unveils Johnnie Walker Double Black

One hundred years after the launch of Johnnie Walker Black Label, brand owner Diageo has unveiled a new variant – Johnnie Walker Double Black.

The new blend will sit on shelf alongside Johnnie Walker Black Label and is being launched as a test in selected airports in global travel retail this month (January 2010).

The company says Johnnie Walker Double Black “amplifies a trademark characteristic of Johnnie Walker Black Label, notably the smokiness, to delivery a new intensity in the liquid”.

The product is aimed at drinkers who already appreciate Johnnie Walker whiskies. The Double Black blend is created using peaty West Coast whiskies to particularly emphasise the smoky elements that have made Johnnie Walker Whiskies famous.

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: “Johnnie Walker Double Black takes Johnnie Walker Black Label as its starting point. Drawing on generations of blending and maturation expertise and with the keys to the largest, most diverse stocks of aged Scotch Whiskies in the world, I have created Johnnie Walker Double Black to be a new and complementary perspective on Black Label.

“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.”

Johnnie Walker Double Black will be tested at six leading international airport locations (Bangkok, Dubai, Lebanon, New York (JFK), Singapore and Sydney) over the five-month test period, which 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 test launch is supported in the stores by extensive high-impact visibility, sampling and hostess support.




1 January 2010 - Felicity Murray