Inside the invitation-only Johnnie Walker House, Singapore

By Martin Eber, January 31 2017
Inside the invitation-only Johnnie Walker House, Singapore

Like its counterparts in Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul, Johnnie Walker House Singapore is designed for the brand's private clients, drawn from the 'high net worth' and 'ultra-high net worth' ranks.

Located within the Singapore offices of parent company Diageo, the Johnnie Walker House is a tastefully decorated suite overlooking the historic trading port of Boat Quay – where the very first Johnnie Walker bottles would have arrived in Singapore in the 1800s.

Diageo's Private Clients team use this secluded invitation-only suite to demonstrate their higher-end, often more bespoke offerings, including personal cask ownership and signature blends. Basically, this isn't where you go to pick up a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue..!

Upon entering the House, you're greeted by a large flavour map, mapping out Diageo's 39 malt distilleries (28 operating, 11 closed) in terms of profile.

Against the far wall sits a showcase of Diageo's more exclusive products, including high-end Johnnie Walker blends – such as the US$48,000 McLaren Mercedes Edition...

... and the US$200,000 Diamond Jubilee.

There's also an overview of JW's "Signature Blend" program, allowing customers to determine their preferred flavour profile via a series of tastings, which Master Blender Dr Jim Beveridge then interprets into a custom JW Blend, drawing on the 8 million+ casks at his disposal.

Further along sat a bottle of Port Ellen, one of the most sought-after whiskies in the world (at retail, a Port Ellen can set you back over $3,500).

I learnt that this particular Port Ellen was a bottling from Diageo's "Casks of Distinction" program - an incredibly limited program through which customers can purchase an entire cask from select distilleries, and choose to either bottle it, or continue ageing it (in Diageo's bonded warehouses) for bottling at a later date.

The casks and distilleries available vary over time, but do occasionally include closed distilleries like Port Ellen and Rosebank, alongside operational distilleries like Lagavulin.

To have your own, private cask of Port Ellen and Rosebank bottled with your name would be pretty special...and the packaging certainly seems to befit the exclusivity, with bottles packaged in wooden 6 bottle crates, accompanied by a chest containing crystal glassware. 

Having thoroughly toured the House and learnt all about Diageo's most exclusive offerings, there was only one thing left to do: indulge in a tasting!

Sampling six 'Special Releases' bottlings (including 2016's 37yo Port Ellen and 38yo Brora, as well as a delightfully unique 40yo Cambus) was a fantastic way to end a wonderfully detailed insight into the world of Diageo's bespoke offerings.

This article was originally published on TimeforWhisky – visit TimeForWhisky.com on the Web and on Instagram.
Martin Eber

Martin is the founding editor of TimeForWhisky.com, a leading blog for lovers of the dram with tasting notes, events, bar reports, new releases and more.

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30 Aug 2016

Total posts 26

Nice one to get a chance to visit that!


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