In the modern world there is often little time to reflect on the changes happening around us. Old habits and old products fade quickly as they are replaced by new fads and new models.
However, some people and brands still set store by the old, recognising that their relic status imbues them with a rare and unique character.This week Diageo's Johnnie Walker hosted an exclusive evening at The Circle within the Opera House’s Bennelong restaurant, celebrating the brand’s commitment to the old and rare through its products, and launching its new Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Port Ellen, the second release in a series of bottlings with components from ‘ghost’ distilleries.
Guests were invited to taste several whisky blends from within the brand’s Blue Label line – a traditional Blue Label, a Blue Label Ghost & Rare Brora Edition and finally, the Ghost & Rare Port Ellen Edition. The final blend incorporated whisky from the shuttered Port Ellen ‘ghost’ distillery, which ceased production in 1983. The dwindling reserves of its whisky make it the rarest within the Johnnie Walker collection, and in line with its status, carries an RRP of $500.
Diageo, the owner of the Johnnie Walker brand and operator of the many distilleries associated with it, has recognised the need to hold onto this history as part of its brandy strategy. The firm has ploughed £35 million into re-opening both the Port Ellen and Brora distilleries by 2020, so that the unique flavours associated with those locations can be carried on rather than allowed to fade away.
It shows that even in our fast-paced world, there is still space for the old.