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Who was Johnnie Walker?


You know the drink very well (even if you don’t remember the night that follows!) We instantly recognise the elegant figure of the striding man and who can forget the name!


It is one name that every drinker from Manhattan to Marthahalli can correctly pronounce.


But who was the man whom many claim is behind countless bachelor parties, creative ideas, start-ups and bar fights since 1820?


Here are some things about the man and the brand that you must know.


• John Walker (b. 1805), was a Scottish grocer. He inherited his business after his father’s death in 1819
• He started out as a grocer very early – By the age of 15
John Walker was a Teetotaller! The founder after whom this iconic brand is named, was a teetotaller, believe it or not!

• His business was destroyed by a flood in 1852, but quickly recovered (whew!)

• His son Alexander was initially taught the art of blending tea, a skill that he used later in the whisky business.

• It was his son, Alexander who took the business forward and was responsible for the meteoric rise of the brand.

• The famous logo of the striding man was drawn behind a menu card around 1909 by a graphic designer called Tom Browne.


The next time you raise a glass of black label, remember that you are part of a legacy that’s almost 200 years old!



Keep Walking!


The HipBar Team


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