Unsurprisingly, this iconic brand stems from a history origin. In 1820 the Walker family farm was sold and the money gained was used to open a grocery store in the town of Kilmarnock. At the time, grocers stocked their shelves with single malt scotches; however, their quality lacked consistency. John Walker, head of the new venture, was unhappy with this shortcoming and began mixing different bottles until the product still met the standards of the previous sip, and all those that followed.
When John died in 1857, his son, Alexander, took over the flourishing business. At that time, Britain was the epicenter of the Industrial Revolution and goods could reach every corner of the globe via the railroad. Ten years later, Alexander introduced Johnnie Walker’s iconic square bottle and angled label, two carefully implemented strategies to help the Scotch stand out on the shelves alongside its competitors.
In 1908, Tom Browne, a British illustrator, created the Striding Man, an emblem commissioned by the Walker family to promote their brand’s energy, innovation and forward-thinking vision. Over the next 30 years, Johnnie Walker was available in 120 countries and filled the glasses of everyone from socialites to statesmen.
Today, Johnnie Walker is the world’s largest whiskey brand, and despite this unprecedented success, Johnnie Walker continues to encourage itself and its customers to “keep walking”. Although Johnnie Walker is available in a wide variety of styles and editions, Black Label is the best way to get started.