Johnnie Walker Globe Willow Edition Blue Label

Released August 2016

JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE, unveiled the Johnnie Walker House™ Exclusive Collection Global Edition. Part of the signature JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE Willow Collection, the Johnnie Walker House™ Exclusive Collection Global Edition commemorates the travel heritage of JOHNNIE WALKER, celebrating a constant sense of adventure and an unending pursuit of progress.

Created in collaboration with illustrators Good Wives and Warriors, the whimsical design depicts the modern traveller’s dreamscape and draws parallels to the epic voyage undertaken by JOHNNIE WALKER from the four corners of Scotland to the four corners of the world. With the signature square bottle as a canvas, the detailed engraving etched in blue under-glaze on porcelain brings to life the insatiable quest for adventure of JOHNNIE WALKER and yields new discoveries with each look:

  • Distinct landmarks, cues and nuances from all seven continents of the world – from the Great Wall of China to the Pyramids of Giza
  • The iconic square bottle of JOHNNIE WALKER planted in the most ambitious destinations and the most unexpected places; conquering the top of Victoria Falls in Africa, blending into the concrete jungle that is New York City and crossing the final frontier to land on the moon
  • An old sailing ship bearing the JOHN WALKER & SONS emblem exploring unchartered waters, paying homage to the grand ocean voyages undertaken by JOHNNIE WALKER

JW Black Label Art Deco Bottle design history

Visual Artist Laurent Sanguinetti designer of the Johnnie Walker Black Label Art Deco Edition

The design and illustration applied to the limited edition bottle was created to celebrate the Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 year old blend, its craft inherited by its founder and master blender and the 1930’s Art Deco era, time of the great Alexander Walker.

The task consisted of reinterpreting in an Art Deco style the iconic elements of Johnnie Walker such as the Striding Man and evoking the notion of conquest through sea travel.

The John Walker Philip Lawson Johnston limited edition SG50

The one-time-only release is a joint collaboration between JOHN WALKER & SONS, Scotch Whisky Distillers By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen, and Philip Lawson Johnston, Specialist Hand Engraver of Glass By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen.

The John Walker SG50 Jubilee Limited Edition prominently features Raffles Hotel, Singapore’s most iconic hotel and symbolic piece of colonial architecture in a modernised city and also one of the few remaining 19th century hotels in the world, surrounded by orchids and rain trees.

Following the guiding theme “Floral Architecture”, the engraving also showcases Singapore’s renowned (and very pretty) Super Trees and Flower Dome from Gardens by the Bay. These man-made vertical gardens have become a representation of Singapore’s progressive nature and a quintessential part of our skyline.

Philip picked up his craft with his brother at home, without the help of teachers or classes. He received a royal warrant for his work for Her Majesty the Queen. Currently, there are only three warrant holders in the entire world. He explained that he first draws on the bottle with a fountain pen, and then works his way into engraving with the use of a dental drill, with the guiding principle of “care and detail with a creative process.”

Only 25 bottles of the John Walker SG50 Jubilee Limited Edition were created, with 24 available for purchase through Bar & Billiard Room 1896, Raffles Hotel and Whisky World at approximately S$6,500.

The last bottle, which also includes additional unique features by Philip will be put through a silent auction from 9 August to 10 September 2015 and unveiled at “The John Walker Night of Excellence” gala dinner event on 10 September. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Rotary Foundation Singapore..

What’s the Willow in the JW Blue Willow collection bottles

The Willow pattern, more commonly known as Blue Willow, is a distinctive and elaborate pattern used on ceramic kitchen/housewares. The pattern was popular in 18th century England, e.g. porcelain designed by Thomas Minton around 1790 and has been in use for over 200 years. The design was inspired by the china England imported from China during the late 18th century. Other references give alternative origins, such as Thomas Turner of Caughley porcelain, with a design date of 1780. Willow refers to the pattern, a specific treatment, either applied transfer, or stamp, known as transfer ware. Background colour is always white, while foreground colour depends on the maker; blue the most common, followed by pink, green, and brown. Assortment, shape and dates of production vary.


The John Barr Story

Here is an old Johnnie Walker advertisement with the John Barr bottle.

John Barr Cumming was a whisky trader from yesteryear. His family background dates back to the Speyside region in the 19th century. The Brand became known in 1977/1978 when it replaced Johnnie Walker Red Label in the UK following the EEC ruling on pricing and taxes. At that time the EEC ruled in favour of the free flows of goods and JW’s owners at the time (Distillers Co.Ltd) decided to vastly increase the JW prices, effectively pricing itself out of the market for a while. Almost immediately, Distillers Co.Ltd introduced John Barr Blends with very similar quality, packaging and bottles in order to keep their customers satisfied. Eventually, the Brand name was acquired in 1986 by John Barr & Company of Glasgow, part of the Whyte & Mackay Group. The John Barr Blend was created by Richard Paterson, W&M’s Master Blender. Speyside Malts are said to be at the heart of this Blend of 40 Grain – and Malt whiskies. John Barr Red sells at between 15 and 30 US Dollars. There are also Gold, Black and Blue versions of this Blend.