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Events / Causes

John Walker & Sons tours Diamond Jubilee bottle to bolster ultra-luxury image

April 30, 2012


Scottish brand John Walker & Sons produced a limited number of aged whiskey bottles to commemorate the British Queen’s 60th year on the throne that it is marketing via an international tour.

One of the Diamond Jubilee bottles is currently on rotation to broaden visibility and will most likely strengthen John Walker & Sons’ status as a luxury brand since the special-edition whiskey is priced at $162,380 per bottle. The brand seems to be leveraging its Royal Warrant Holder's membership by celebrating the Diamond Jubilee bottle and donating proceeds to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.

“Within the luxury sector, there is still a strong demand for bespoke luxury goods with heritage, craftsmanship and authenticity at their heart,” said David Gates, grantee of the Royal Warrant of John Walker & Sons, London.

“According to the Luxury Trend Report, the luxury consumer desires the product to be a story of collaboration, craftsmanship, heritage and exclusivity to warrant a standout creation of luxury status,” he said.

“As a Royal Warrant Holder, John Walker & Sons felt it was their duty and privilege to celebrate the landmark occasion of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”

Royal bottle
John Walker & Sons is currently touring one edition of its Diamond Jubilee bottle to engage connoisseurs that the brand has relationships with.

The whiskey company has been a member of the Royal Warrant Holders since 1934 and felt the special-edition bottle was an appropriate way to celebrate the Queen’s 60th anniversary, per John Walker & Sons.

The brand produced 60 Diamond Jubilee bottles, the same number of years that the Queen has held the throne. Each bottle is numbered.

The diamond-shaped decanter is made of Baccarat crystal.

There are six radial legs decorated with Britannia silver that represent the six decades of the Queen’s reign.

The bottle’s collars are set with a half-carat diamond, the Royal Arms and a John Walker & Sons monogram.

Diamond Jubilee bottle

Bottles purchased come with a two lead Cumbria Crystal glasses and an artifact book. The package is presented in a chest.

John Walker & Sons called on more than 60 craftsmen and women to create each aspect of the bottle.

For example, Sally Mangum, calligrapher by appointment to the Queen, will personalize each package for the owner.

The liquor is a blend of grain and malt whiskies distilled in and maturing since 1952, the year the Queen took the throne.

Proceeds from the sale of the bottle will go to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust’s Diamond Jubilee Appeal. John Walker & Sons is promising a minimum $1.62 million donation that will help keep craftsmanship thriving in Britain.

“The rarity of the whiskies involved and the positive tasting notes received showcases our supreme blending expertise adding value to the John Walker & Sons brand as the purveyors of the best blended Scotch whiskies,” Mr. Gates said.

British at its best
Many British brands are celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and marketing special products and services to local consumers.

For example, London-based department store Harrods is tapping into locals’ affinity for the Queen to market a product line and a series of in-store events to mark the Diamond Jubilee (see story).

In addition, The Langham hotel and Asprey are using their British heritage to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee with a special high tea with pastries inspired by the jeweler’s collections (see story).

John Walker & Sons seems to be playing on shock value in its Diamond Jubilee marketing efforts due to the bottle's limited quantity, intricate design and high price.

The brand hopes to create visibility for the entire John Walker & Sons range by marketing the Diamond Jubilee bottle to affluent consumers, per Mr. Gates.

“With just 60 editions released for sale to mark the landmark event that is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the rarity of the whiskies involved in the creation, Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons is indeed exclusive with a story to tell,” Mr. Gates said.

“Collaboration of craftsmanship and heritage from the beginning to the end product must grant Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons as a standout creation of luxury status,” he said.

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York