On Monday 6 February, sixty years to the day since The Queen’s accession, John Walker & Sons, Scotch Whisky Distillers By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen, celebrated the occasion with the bottling of Diamond Jubilee By John Walker & Sons; a specially crafted blend of rare malt and grain Scotch Whiskies distilled in and maturing since 1952, the year she acceded to the throne.
At Royal Lochnagar Distillery, on the edge of Her Majesty The Queen’s Balmoral Estate, David Gates, Grantee of John Walker & Sons’ Royal Warrant, oversaw the filling of The Queen’s decanter, as well as 60 further editions for sale around the world. The profits from the sale of these editions are being donated to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) with a guaranteed amount of at least £1million and will support the excellence of craftsmanship as symbolised by the Royal Warrant of Appointment.
David Gates commented: “John Walker & Sons was first awarded a Royal Warrant in 1934 by King George V. We are extremely honoured that the quality of our whiskies is recognised by this symbol and our commitment to this calibre of quality and service is unwavering. 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 Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons has been a once-in-a-lifetime privilege for Master Blender Jim Beveridge and his apprentice Matthew Crow who have overseen the search, selection and expert blending of the whiskies from the beginning. The final, traditional step of marrying has been carried out in casks made by the John Walker & Sons coopers using oak provided by kind permission of The Queen from her private Sandringham Estate. John Walker & Sons has harnessed the skills of more than 60 fine artisans, including fellow Royal Warrant Holders and QEST Scholars who are creating bespoke pieces to present and accompany the whisky.
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, selected for its purity. Leading Scottish silversmiths, Hamilton & Inches, has 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.