A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
It is the third time the annual edition has been released, and this year distribution has been extended to 15 worldwide markets: Switzerland, France, Mexico, Netherlands, Vietnam, Poland, Denmark, Bulgaria, China, Thailand, Germany, Slovenia, Taiwan, Croatia and Hong Kong.
Created by master blender Sandy Hyslop, the expression offers aromas and flavours of cinnamon, orange, raisin, candy apple and pear. Pernod Ricard has suggested it is served neat, over ice or as the base of seasonal cocktails.
To support the release Pernod Ricard is launching a Facebook app that invites users to virtually play ‘pass the parcel’ with friends, and offers the chance to win a bottle of Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve.
The app provides seasonal recipes made with the Christmas edition, including mince pies and Clementine Bauble cocktails.
Peter Moore, international brand director for Ballantine’s, said: “The festive period is notoriously competitive for retailers, so we’re delighted to be offering Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve to more of our customers around the world this year. This special edition provides consumers seeking the ideal festive gift with exceptional quality and excellent value.”
“Our customers rightly expect fresh thinking from Ballantine’s so we hope our new Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve Facebook app will be well received and will help spread some festive spirit this Christmas.”