Johnnie Walker Master Blender Dr. Emma Walker (no relation to Johnnie) took over the role earlier this year and unveiled what may be her first masterpiece. The fifth release in an ongoing series, Blue Label Ghost & Rare Port Dundas collects from the world famous grain whiskey distillery, the now defunct Port Dundas in Glasgow. Emma has handpicked the most distinctive expressions from Johnnie Walker’s reserves as she brings this rich and complex spirit to life. It tells four unique stories with every sip: the story of the historic distillery, the special edition series, the new master blender and the sensational flavor journey.
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Before closing in 2010, the Port Dundas Distillery was an enduring icon of the Scotch whiskey industry. Built in 1811 on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal at the height of Glasgow’s commercial history, they delivered their produce to ports around the world for nearly 200 years. Considered one of the finest grain whiskies, their spirit has been given additional depth and complexity by aging in two casks in second-fill American oak and highly charred first-fill American oak. The result was a uniquely sweet and delicate grain character with a creamy texture and aromatic notes of spice, vanilla and oak.
In creating the new Blue Label Ghost & Rare Port Dundas, Emma and her team were tasked with doing what they do best and creating the perfect beast. To balance the creamy, woody and spicy profile of Port Dundas, they hand-selected two other ‘spirit’ whiskeys from the Cambus and Brora distilleries, bringing layers of vanilla and subtle smoke. They also incorporated ultra-rare scotch from the iconic Cameronbridge, Glenkinchie, Clynelish, Dailuaine and Auchroisk distilleries to deliver flavors and aromas of spiced fruit amongst others.
To quote Emma herself: “These rare whiskeys highlight how the Port Dundas still character blossoms during gentle aging and perfectly showcases the wonderful depth of flavor that this distinctively sweet and smooth Johnnie Walker Blue Label grain whiskey brings. Its incredible character inspired us to create something truly extraordinary that pays due tribute to the whiskey makers of this renowned Glasgow distillery.”
The new Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare Port Dundas continues the tradition of releasing limited editions, each created using irreplaceable “ghost” whiskeys and other fine expressions from the blender’s rarest reserves. Previous examples include last year’s Blue Label Ghost and Rare Pittyvaich and 2018 Blue Label Ghost and Rare Port Ellen to name a few. Each release gives drinkers a special opportunity to sample the dwindling stock of the once famous but now inactive distillery.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Port Dundas also represent an exciting new chapter in the brand’s own legacy. Master Blender Dr. Emma Walker spent years working alongside her iconic predecessor – Dr. Jima Beveridge – before taking on the prestigious role. This limited edition showcases her experience and offers a taste of great things to come. Bottled at 43.8% ABV, it is available at select independent and national bottlers for a suggested retail price of $549.99. Rate it before it disappears like a ghost.
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