John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015

John Walker & Sons, the prestige range from Johnnie Walker has released the John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015 Edition at an exclusive dinner and tasting led by renowned international whisky expert Dave Broom at The Olsen Hotel in Melbourne.

John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015
John Walker & Sons Private Collection Launch *

The elegant event was attended by select media, award winning bar and restaurant owner from Edinburgh, Stuart McCluskey and members of the Diageo Whisky Club.

John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015
Lake Eyre Penthouse at The Olsen Hotel in Melbourne

Johnnie Walker Blue Label cocktails were served on arrival as guests mingled amongst the luxurious surrounds of the fourteenth floor Lake Eyre Penthouse before sitting down to a three course dinner catered by Spoonbill Restaurant.

John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015
Dave Broom *

National Johnnie Walker and Classic Malts Ambassador, Sean Baxter introduced Dave Broom who, in between courses, led the tasting of both John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2014 and 2015 Editions.

John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2014

Twenty five years ago, Master Blender Jim Beveridge, who has driven Diageo’s wood policy, decided to lay down a whole number of casks with every different parameter he could think of such as wood type, previous fill, what liquid had been the previous fill, what size of cask and so on. He then put different whiskies in these casks and then put different vatting of these whiskies in these casks and monitored how they progressed.  Project Calculus was born and the learnings from that exercise would then dictate that Distillery A would give us a particular flavour if it was put it in Cask B for a certain period of time.

John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015
John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2014 *

The inaugural John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2014 Edition (46.8% ABV) is an exploration of the John & Walker & Sons signature smoky character from three Scottish regions. Master Blender Jim Beveridge took smoky whiskies from Islay, the islands and the Highlands, all having different characters that give the whisky salty marine and wood smoke notes.

Rich amber in colour, the whisky is a study in smoke, but not the big overpowering peat that one often associates with a heavy maritime, seaweed-driven dram. Fresh green apple sit on top of the smoke with a marine note and a mineral character and as it begins to develop, fruit and wood aroma emerge.

“It kind of like an Agatha Christie mystery this one,” Dave Broom explains. “You are in an old English country house, you’ve got the fires burning, you’ve got the polished wood and you’ve got something dark and mysterious going on. You’ve got velvety drapes, you’ve got the dust on the floor. But then, when you swallow it, you’ve got this real fresh acidity coming through. You’ve got the wood. You have this real vibrancy coming through in the back.”

John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015

John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015 is the second annual release by Master Blender Jim Beveridge in a series and is a smooth blend of mature whisky fruit expressions from the heart of Scotland. Only 8,888 individually numbered decanters are available worldwide with Australia being allocated 252 bottles. 29 bespoke and experimental casks went into a blend characterised by softeness of fruit and in a full-bodied luxurious and complex dram.

John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015
John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015

The 2015 expression is amber in colour, medium-bodied and develops in the glass and on the palate. Fresh aromas of green apples, gooseberry and pear notes emerge and as the whisky starts to warm up, the fruity character deepen into peach, apricot, tropical fruit with a richness and structure along with fudge and honey and finishing on a hint of citrus.

According to Dave Broom, the 2015 is texturally different to its predecessor – sweet but richer, softer, chewier and more succulent, rolling across the tongue very gently. Other than the American oak in this blend, there are brandy casks which impart a spicy character with a tingling cardamom flavour on the back palate. Or as Dave Broom simply puts it, “A whisky you can eat rather than a whisky you necessarily drink.”

The John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015 Edition (46.8% ABV) comes in a deep red glass decanter with an angled cut to reflect the slanted label on the Johnnie Walker square bottle. It is set in a cream box with the story of the Rare Fruit Character of this blend.

John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015 is available exclusively from Dan Murphy’s Australia at RRP $888.00 AUD.

Gourmantic travelled to Melbourne for the launch of The John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015 Edition as guests of Diageo.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.
* Photo Credit: Diageo, Used with Permission

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John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015 was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.