25th July 1805

Whisky icon John “Jonnie” Walker is born

John Walker is today better known as Johnnie Walker, whose name appears on the labels of one of the most famous whisky brands in the world.

Born near Kilmarnock, he ran a grocery store in the town, where he sold an own-brand whisky, called Walker’s Kilmarnock Whisky. But this was not what would become Johnnie Walker. The more famous blend was created by his son, Alexander, and had originally been called simply Old Highland Whisky.

Blended whiskies

Alexander Walker blended malt and grain whiskies and, in 1893, bought Cardhu distillery. His own sons later expanded the range of whiskies to three, of different ages, distinguished by different coloured labels. Over subsequent years, the range continued to grow, and the company acquired further distilleries.

The brand was acquired by Guinness in 1986, and 11 years later became part of drinks giant Diageo, which closed the original Kilmarnock distillery in spring 2012.



Other events that occured in July

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