Johnnie Walker Oldest - Johnnie Walker Blue?
This is what we found out from one of Diageo's (Johnnie Walker's parent company) Masters of Whisky:
"Oldest” was the first and early efforts John Walker and Sons to enter the luxury goods duty free market.
* A recipe based on original blending notes of Alex Walker prior to WW II
* Replicating a whisky style reminiscent of the “whisky era” steamships, world travel and luxury
* A soft, smooth profile, yet containing the characteristic peat signature of Johnnie Walker
* A bottle based on the original hand-blown blue tinted glass used at the time of the original square bottle’s introduction.
* Distinctive royal blue label
* Formulated from the company’s rarest, oldest and finest stocks. The formula was an absolute secret and still is.
* Labeled “oldest” after Alex Walker’s custom of referring to his special blends as such
* NO AGE STATEMENT was ever given, implied or hinted at. (My guess is that along the way some well-meaning whisky hack tried to explain and the 15-60 thing evolved from there. There is no way of knowing what the actual ages were/are.) As with Blue Label, it does the liquid a great disservice to even discuss age.
* As is often the practice, the test market was duty free Asia and select Asian retailers.
If any of that that sounds familiar, it's because ‘Oldest’ is the first generation of what may have become Blue Label - same story, very similar package, probably very similar liquid. We hear it tastes “just like Blue Label.”
Some added info - keeping in mind this is not official - just confecture....It seems that there is often a period while a product is in development and on trial in duty free and select markets. During that time, trial names and packages are used. Then, when there is a major launch, the name or look sometimes changes. Both Green and Gold Labels went through similar metamorphoses. In both cases consumers drove the name changes.
Hope this helps!
Last edited by Jojo; 12-21-2010 at 06:30 PM.