John (Johnnie) Walker

1805 - 1859

Whisky Blender. Born near Kilmarnock, he established a grocery shop in the town in the 1820, and began to blend whisky. His brand, Walker's Kilmarnock Whisky, thrived and became world famous. The business was developed by Walker's grandson, Sir Alexander Walker, whose office still stands in John Finnie Street, Kilmarnock.

Johnnie Walker Red and Black Label is now produced by United Distillers & Vintners Ltd, an Edinburgh-based subsidiary of Diageo plc, the London-based food and drinks multi-national, which has a turnover of £12 billion. Kilmarnock remained the centre for blending and bottling this whisky until 2012 when Diageo closed the plant after 192 years of operating in the town. The whisky is now produced at Cameronbridge Distillery and bottled in Leven.

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