JOHN WALKER & SONS CELEBRATES 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN’S ACCESSION TO THE THRONE
THE BOTTLING OF DIAMOND JUBILEE BY JOHN WALKER & SONS, A BLEND OF RARE SCOTCH WHISKIES DISTILLED IN 1952
ROYAL DEESIDE, Scotland, February 6 /PRNewswire/ — Sixty years to the day since The Queen’s accession, John Walker & Sons, Scotch Whisky Distillers By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen, celebrates the occasion with the bottling of Diamond Jubilee By John Walker & Sons; a specially crafted blend of rare malt and grain Scotch Whiskies distilled in and maturing since 1952, the year she acceded to the throne.
At Royal Lochnagar Distillery, on the edge of Her Majesty The Queen’s Balmoral Estate, David Gates, Grantee of John Walker & Sons’ Royal Warrant, will oversee the filling of The Queen’s decanter, as well as 60 further editions for sale around the world. John Walker & Sons’ profits from the sale of these editions are being donated to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) with a guaranteed amount of at least £1million and will support the excellence of craftsmanship as symbolised by the Royal Warrant of Appointment.
David Gates commented: “John Walker & Sons was first awarded a Royal Warrant in 1934 by King George V. We are extremely honoured that the quality of our whiskies is recognised by this symbol and our commitment to this calibre of quality and service is unwavering. Today in 2012, we are privileged to be able to celebrate The Queen’s remarkable achievement with this fitting tribute, Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons, the sales of which will help to create an enduring legacy for the supreme craftsmanship that it represents.”
The creation of Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons has been a once-in-a-lifetime privilege for Master Blender Jim Beveridge and his apprentice Matthew Crow who have overseen the search, selection and expert blending of the whiskies from the beginning. The final, traditional step of marrying has been carried out in casks made by the John Walker & Sons coopers using oak provided by kind permission of The Queen from her private Sandringham Estate.
Master Blender Jim Beveridge said: “Along with Master Cooper David Taylor, who I have worked alongside for more than 30 years, and all those at John Walker & Sons, I feel an immense sense of pride to be involved in this project. An extraordinary amount of care and attention has gone into every stage of crafting this Scotch Whisky and there has been a great sense of excitement building towards today, when the full character and flavours of Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons will be revealed for the first time.”
John Walker & Sons has harnessed the skills of more than 60 fine artisans, including fellow Royal Warrant Holders and QEST Scholars who are creating bespoke pieces to present and accompany the whisky.
The diamond shaped Baccarat crystal decanters stand on a crystal base with six radial legs to reflect the decades of The Queen’s enduring reign, and are adorned with Britannia silver, selected for its purity. Leading Scottish silversmiths, Hamilton & Inches, has fashioned the collars set with a half-carat diamond, the Royal Arms, John Walker & Sons monogram and individually numbered seals.
Each edition also includes a pair of lead Cumbria Crystal glasses engraved by Philip Lawson Johnston and a commemorative artefact book, hand bound by Laura West at her Isle of Skye bindery and personalised for each owner by Sally Mangum, Calligrapher By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen. All the elements will be housed in a chest made by the cabinet makers at N.E.J. Stevenson, incorporating oak from Sandringham to echo the whisky marrying casks and Caledonian pine from The Queen’s Balmoral Estate.
Chairman of QEST, Richard Watling, commented: “The creation of this beautiful work, a monument to the skills of its craftspeople and the definitive tribute to 60 years of Her Majesty’s reign is of enormous significance to QEST. The donation will enable us to significantly increase the number of scholarships we award, helping to secure the preservation of vital craft skills for generations to come. For this, QEST is extremely grateful.”
Two further editions created for the John Walker & Sons archive, will embark on a tour around the world in Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee year.
SPOKESPEOPLE & ASSETS
The following spokespeople are available for interview upon request:
- David Gates, Grantee of the Royal Warrant, John Walker & Sons, and Global Category Director, Whiskies, Diageo
- Jim Beveridge, Master Blender and apprentice Matthew Crow, John Walker & Sons
- David Taylor, Master Cooper, John Walker & Sons
- Richard Watling, Chairman, Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust
Assets available upon request:
- ’Making of’ b-roll and short film
- Photography of The Queen’s decanter
- Studio photography of Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons
- Photography of the making of Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons (including contributing craftspeople)
ABOUT DIAMOND JUBILEE BY JOHN WALKER & SONS
The 60 editions of Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons will be released by John Walker & Sons for sale at £100,000 (excluding UK VAT).
A minimum donation of £1,000,000 from the sales of Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons will be given to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), a registered charity in England (number 802557). 10% will be paid to the charity through QEST Enterprises Ltd (which donates all its profits to the charity) and 90% will be paid to the charity direct.
The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) is the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, established in 1990 to mark its 150th anniversary and the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
QEST provides scholarships to preserve rare skills and enable those talented craftsmen and women with promise and a long-held passion for their craft to achieve greater levels of excellence through study with masters of their craft around the world.
THE JOHN WALKER & SONS COLLECTION
Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons is a unique, extremely limited celebratory edition from The John Walker & Sons Collection. Drawing on almost two centuries of expertise and unparalleled stocks of Scotch Whisky, the John Walker & Sons Collection is an example of supreme crafting and innovative blends with pioneering flavour styles. It comprises King George V, created to celebrate the granting of the Royal Warrant to John Walker & Sons in 1934 by King George V, The John Walker Blended Scotch Whisky, crafted using handpicked whiskies from just 9distilleries open during the time of John Walker and blended in limited quantities to produce a masterpiece, and Johnnie Walker XR 21 year old, the blend created in honour of Sir Alexander Walker’s knighthood awarded in 1920.
ABOUT JOHN WALKER & SONS
John Walker & Sons is part of the Diageo Group.
It is the founding company behind Johnnie Walker®, the world’s number one selling Scotch Whisky brand, enjoyed by people in almost 200 countries around the world.
Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker®, Guinness™, Smirnoff™, JεB™, Baileys™,
Cuervo™, Tanqueray™ and Captain Morgan™.
Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.
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