Jane Walker Black

Just a good water cooler knowledge.


The power of marketing! 35 years ago JW Red was a cheapo bottle considered as rough as a bear’s arse by most whisky drinkers, including me. Black, if it existed at all, just wasn’t seen on shop shelves. Now Red has a price tag 1/3 up on some excellent (way better IMO) products, and has an upmarket image. Black even more so. Well done the ad men.

I would say Johnny Walker has pretty much became the standard of blended Scotch, no?

I was working in the wine/spirits industry 35-38 years ago and JW Red was considered good, and it was. Black was available just about every liquor store, unless it was a store in a low economic area, and was considered very good. I don’t know where you get the idea that JW didn’t used to be quality blended Scotch. Which was what most Scotch was back then. Blended, and well thought of for the fact. Single malts are relatively new, and only really came into their own in the late 80’s and 90’s.


Not here in the UK.

Oh I can quite see that some people may think highly of it, but in the UK it’s always been rather looked down on, and nobody I know understands why anyone pays £20 for it when options that are generally better thought of are widely available at £15. Actually the same (but more so) goes for Chivas Regal.

I guess we are very lucky to have so much choice.

Let me know. What is more or less a go-to blended Scotch in UK? Thanks.

I didn’t think highly of Johnny Walker Black until the strong endorsement from Christopher Hitchens.

Breakfast for champions. Accept no substitute.

Bell’s or Teachers probably. Or maybe the ever reliable Famous Grouse, which I understand is what you’d
be given at Buckingham Palace. White & Mackay and Grants also have their fans. They’re all widely available.

Anything swankier on the drinks tray at home might be considered by some to be showing off.


Good to know… but then… we are going to have Jane Walker, not Johnny Walker.

When we visited the Glendronach Distillery in the early '80s, the guy showing us around said that Johnny Walker, Chivas, etc. were “rubbish”!

I went to an Accura car dealer and there he called Ford Fusion is a trash/rubbish and told me that I am a fool (not in so many words) to even try to consider a Ford Fusion to an Accura (true story too)


Well I think what both you and the librarian experienced is typical for any type of completing sales. Show me an honest salesperson and I’ll show you someone who hasn’t taken home a commission check in a long time!

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True, but some salepersons use a soft sale approach. During the same time, I was test driving the Volvo too, and the Volvo guy was praising both Accura and Ford Fusion and how he used to work for both companies, and how any of these cars would serve me well, but in his opinion he thinks the Volvo is just a little better and gave his XYZ argument… but they are all good cars. He stressed.

This is true story by the way. Also the Accura guy went much harder than what I wrote up there. He was actually saying how I am going to make the biggest mistake in my life. :yum: I guess I did because I didn’t go back and buy the Accura at the end.

I sold stereos in the late 70’s and tried to take care of my customers giving them good value and I was very good at it.

We had one guy who seemed to spend half his time fighting off refunds for his “deals” as they came right out of your pocket.

Having said this the best product we sold was what was in stock in our backroom warehouse and the customer was steered toward these items.

Somewhat topical we had the three margarita lunch with powerful Ninfaritas at Ninfa’s in Houston.

Scotch, never tried it back then.

Jimmy McGregor, the guy who showed us around Glendronach, wasn’t a salesperson. He worked in the distillery which was very small and rustic, and very kindly interrupted his lunch to give us a tour. As I recall, you couldn’t even buy anything there. In addition, he was giving his opinion. But, if you ever taste Glendronach, you will agree that Johnny Walker, etc. are “rubbish” in comparison.

Please don’t insult a whole profession because of a few dishonest members. My father was in sales his whole career, and was an honest person who cared about his customers, whether they were buying plumbing and electrical supplies or laboratory tests.