What drove you to create Johnnie Walker Platinum Label?
I wanted to create a rich, dark, intense 18-year-old whisky, a contemporary-style blend with slight smokiness, sweet vanilla and mature Speyside fruitiness – end of season, end of summer, almost like exotic fruit. Beyond that though, there’s a heritage of special occasion private blends that we’ve done for friends and special customers. Platinum Label comes from that tradition, and to me, that describes the blend.
Johnnie Walker Double Black® was more of a reinvention, whereas Platinum Label is a whole new creation. Which was tougher to produce?
I always start out with a flavor profile in my head, and the challenge is to create that profile using existing stocks. Both of those whiskies had their own challenges, but with Double Black, the volume of that blend was significantly greater than that of Platinum Label, which was a bit tougher, because its whiskies are quite rare.
So you’ve created Johnnie Walker® Blue Label®, Double Black, and Platinum Label, among others. And you’ve achieved one of the loftiest titles any man could aspire to, “Master Blender." Are there any worlds left to conquer? Astronaut?
I’m quite happy where I am. That sounds like it’s not very ambitious, but considering the aspirations we have for Johnnie Walker, to be Master Blender and continue to grow in that role, well, that’s actually quite ambitious.
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. JOHNNIE WALKER PLATINUM LABEL® Blended Scotch Whisky. 40% Alc/Vol. ©2013 Imported by Diageo, Norwalk, CT. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL® Blended Scotch Whisky. 40% Alc/Vol. ©2013 Imported by Diageo, Norwalk, CT. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. JOHNNIE WALKER DOUBLE BLACK® Blended Scotch Whisky. 40% Alc/Vol. ©2013 Imported by Diageo, Norwalk, CT.