John Walker was born on the 25th of July 1805 into a farming family, his father died in 1819 and the farm was sold with the money getting invested into a grocery, wine and spirits shop on the high street of Kilmarnock.
John ran the shop as a teenager and built up the business selling spirits like Rum, Brandy and whisky. Before long the shop had made a name for selling both single malt and grain whiskies which were also sold as a made to order brand..
John Walker died in 1857 and left the business to his son Alexander, Alexander later released his first commercial blended whisky named “ Old Highland Whisky” in 1967.
1889 sees Alexander leaving the company to his sons Alexander and George. 1909 sees the sons re naming the successful blend and creating a new range under the Johnnie Walker name along with the coloured labels, hence Johnnie Walker Red and Black were born.
Johnnie Walker Swing
The distinct shape of the bottle gives the whisky its name, designed to move with the rocking of the ships while under sail on the oceans this blend was introduced around 1931/32 and is made up using a large proportion of Speyside malts in order to give it a fruity backbone, as well as the Speyside malts there are whiskies from the Highlands and Islay..
Region.. Speyside, Highlands and Islay
Cask.. Bourbon and Sherry
Age.. Bottled around 1970-1972
Nose.. A distinct Sherry start with dried fruits, candied orange, dark chocolate, tobacco leaf, apple and ripe pear.. Hints of honey along with delicate vanilla and caramel notes.
Palate.. Soft smoke and dried fruits mingle together with a soft fruit note that gently teases the palate before a subtle spicy note eventually shows up.
Finish.. A short whisper of smoke and fruit that does not hang around long enough.
Thoughts.. This is a rather interesting step back in time.. What starts off as a real Sherry dominated nose soon turns into a gentle smokey palate that actually surprises you a little as there is no real evidence of it in the nose..
This is a really fresh blend that begs the question of why haven’t I tried this a lot sooner, I do wonder though if today’s offering is anyway near the quality of what this one is.. I somewhat doubt it will be and think I need to do a comparison very soon..
This bottle represents a big part of my past as it is one of several bottles found from my fathers bottle stash and although I never really knew him I do now have something I know he actually bought and intended to drink one day, ok it’s nothing special but it is to me and now I know I can raise a glass to him and thank him for giving me an opportunity to actually drink something that I know he also enjoyed..