Sixty years to the day since The Queen’s accession, John Walker & Sons, the Scotch Whisky Distillers By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen, celebrates the occasion with the bottling of the limited edition Diamond Jubilee By John Walker & Sons, a specially crafted blend of rare malt and grain Scotch Whiskies distilled and maturing since 1952, the year she acceded to the throne.
At the Royal Lochnagar Distillery, on the edge of Her Majesty The Queen’s Balmoral Estate, David Gates, Grantee of John Walker & Sons’ Royal Warrant, will oversee the filling of The Queen’s decanter, as well as sixty further editions for sale around the world.
Commenting on the history of the brand, David Gates said: “John Walker & Sons was first awarded a Royal Warrant in 1934 by King George V. Today in 2012, we are privileged to be able to celebrate The Queen’s remarkable achievement with this fitting tribute, Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons, the sales of which will help to create an enduring legacy for the supreme craftsmanship that it represents."
The creation of the Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons has been assigned to Master Blender Jim Beveridge and his apprentice Matthew Crow, who have overseen the search, selection and expert blending of the whiskies. The final, traditional step of marrying has been carried out in casks made by John Walker & Sons coopers using oak provided by kind permission of The Queen from her private Sandringham Estate.
The diamond shaped Baccarat crystal decanters stand on a crystal base with six radial legs, to reflect the decades of The Queen’s enduring reign, and are adorned with Britannia silver. Leading Scottish silversmiths, Hamilton & Inches, fashioned the collars set with a half-carat diamond, the Royal Arms, John Walker & Sons monogram and individually numbered seals.
Each edition also includes a pair of lead Cumbria Crystal glasses engraved by Philip Lawson Johnston and a commemorative artefact book, hand bound by Laura West at her Isle of Skye bindery and personalised for each owner by Sally Mangum, Calligrapher By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen. All the elements will be housed in a chest made by the cabinet makers at N.E.J. Stevenson, incorporating oak from Sandringham to echo the whisky marrying casks and Caledonian pine from The Queen’s Balmoral Estate.
The proceeds from the bottle will be donated to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), with a guaranteed amount of at least £1million. Chairman of QEST, Richard Watling, said of the generous donation: “The donation will enable us to significantly increase the number of scholarships we award, helping to secure the preservation of vital craft skills for generations to come. For this, QEST is extremely grateful.”
Two further editions created for the John Walker & Sons archive will embark on a tour around the world in Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee year.