Blended Whisky Review: John Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend

3 min readJan 23, 2024

An edition to commemorate 200 years of making blended whiskies, John Walker & Sons released this higher proof “Celebratory Blend” in 2020. It is no-age-statement, probably colours, but comes in an attractive fold-out box showing an old black-and-white photograph of one of their buildings.

I did love this box presentation; it also was just a simple foldout; eco!

John Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend / 51%

Tasted neat

On one side of the box is a printed message from Johnnie Walker’s Master Blender Jim Beveridge:

This rich and complex blend is inspired by the flavours found in the stock books from the Walker family’s grocery store in the 1860s and uses whiskies from distilleries which were operating at that time. The blend’s unique strength is similar to that of our Old Highland Whisky sold during that era. JOHN WALKER & SONS CELEBRATORY BLEND is a sensorial journey featuring notes of sweet dried raisins and subtle spice, which develop into hints of roasted nuts and gentle peat, with a soft pepper finish. It celebrates this historic moment in the Johnnie Walker story.

On the other side of the box is a bit of meaningless corporate lingo, reflecting on the past and future:

Just as John Walker opened the doors to this eponymous grocery store two hundred years ago, you are invited to open this celebratory Scotch Whisky to reveal the only existing image of where the story of the Johnnie Walker brand began. A lot may have changed since those early days, but not the entrepreneurial spirit at the heart of Johnnie Walker.

JOHN WALKER & SONS CELEBRATORY BLEND is inspired by one of these breakthrough moments, the release of Old Highland Whisky in the 1860s, that took our whisky from Scotland to the four corners of the world. With more whisky being sold overseas, the iconic design of the square bottle and uniquely slanted label was both distinct and helped the name stand out against other whiskies. JOHN WALKER & SONS CELEBRATORY BLEND honours the past whilst being an invitation to raise a glass to the next 200 years.

The box, as it appears on the shelf.

Let’s give it a try!

  • Color: e150a
  • Nose: pineapple, dunnage warehouse, ethanol, caramel, tropical fruit; baked bread and green apple
  • Taste: more caramel, some icing sugar, maple syrup, christmas spice, and black pepper
  • Finish: short, but sweet and a little vanilla

This is a decent blend! Finally an up-proof offering from Johnnie Walker, and it’s decently pleasant, not overpriced, and has a couple interesting notes. I would take this over blue any day.

Rating: 5/10




Personal interests in literature, SF, and whisky/whiskey/scotch, Software Engineer by Trade