The story of Johnnie Walker begins - naturally enough - with the man who gave our whisky his name. The year was 1819 and John Walker’s father had just died. The world in those days wasn’t the friendliest of places and John knew it. No time to grieve. There was a living to be made. Within the year, the family farm had been sold and the money used to set him with his own grocer’s shop in the thriving local town of Kilmarnock. It was a smart move. John had a natural gift for business.
He also had a genius for whisky. In those days, most grocers stocked a line of single malts, but they were never all that consistent. This wasn’t good enough for John, who started blending them together so his whisky tasted just as good every time. It proved an extremely popular addition to the inventory. By 1920, Johnnie Walker whisky was in 120 countries. As the century progressed, it became part of global culture: immortalised by songwriters and filmmakers, idolised by socialites and movie stars, enjoyed by statesmen and walking shoulder-to-shoulder with the great sportsmen and women of the age.
Today, Johnnie Walker is the biggest whisky brand in the world and its slogan has been adopted and embraced everywhere, as a rallying cry for progress, as encouragement in adversity, as a joyful expression of optimism, and as the best piece of advice you’re ever likely to hear.