A generation or two ago, if you spent your entire working life with the same company, they might present you with a gold watch. These days, people are more imaginative. Take Johnnie Walker, who are honouring someone with a very fine bottle of rare 40 year old whisky. The catch? He was asked to create it himself. The man being honoured is Dr. Jim Beveridge OBE.
The whisky he was asked to make is a very special 40-year-old limited edition. Johnnie Walker Master’s Ruby Reserve is a personal selection celebrating his forty years with the company.
Jim is only the sixth person ever to hold the title of Johnnie Walker Master Blender. Yet he is the most unassuming man you could meet. As whisky journalist and author Dave Broom says, “The man who makes the world’s best-selling whisky” is a job title that could turn your head. But he is the very personification of the Scotsman who shies away from at adulation.”
“The man who makes the world’s best-selling whisky is a job title that could turn your head. But he is the very personification of the Scotsman who shies away from at adulation.”
DAVE BROOM,WHISKY JOURNALIST
To make Johnnie Walker Master’s Ruby Reserve, Jim worked closely with his team to select just eight ultra-rare forty-year-old whiskies. He remarks: “Every whisky in this new expression holds a special place in my heart. I worked at each of these distilleries during various points of my career and the flavours and smells of their whiskies transport me back to very happy times throughout my time with Johnnie Walker.”
Twice in succession named Master Blender of the Year, this quiet man commands respect throughout the whisky world. For Sukhinder Singh, founder of The Whisky Exchange: “Blending is one of the most complex things in the world. You can learn to become a master blender, but the true master of blending is rare. I have seen Jim in action and it is so natural for him to create a masterpiece every time he creates a blend.”
Johnnie Walker Master’s Ruby Reserve is just such a masterpiece. ‘Ghost’ whiskies from Cambus, Carsebridge and Pittyvaich bring layers of rich, fruity flavour. They mingle with the notes of dark chocolate, plums and cherries found in long-aged expressions of Royal Lochnagar, Glendullan and Cragganmore and smoky, sea-salt accents from Talisker and Port Ellen to create a full-bodied gem. A master blend, from a master of blending. Master of the Quaich and whisky writer Charles MacLean offers a simple tribute, “I have known Jim for over 20 years and have the highest respect for his knowledge as a chemist, his skill as a blender, his ability as a teacher and, above all, his self-effacing modesty.”