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Johnnie Walker reveals new limited edition capturing the elusive taste of Umami, in first-of-a-kind collaboration with renowned Chef Kei Kobayashi

NEW YORK, Sept. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnnie Walker, the world's number one Scotch Whisky brand1, today unveils Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami - a pioneering expression inspired by the enigmatic flavor also known as the fifth taste. 

Master Blender Emma Walker joined forces with world-renowned Chef Kei Kobayashi, channelling their years of expertise into the creation of this exquisite Blended Scotch Whisky. 

In their pursuit to decode one of the world's most mysterious flavors, the pair set out on a journey of flavor discovery, endeavoring to create a blend that encapsulates the enigmatic taste of umami.  

The result - a beautifully balanced Scotch whisky of sweet and savory flavors, with notes of blood oranges and red berries with sweet wood spice, a touch of smoked meat, a hint of salt and pepper with a long, sweet fruit finish. 

Selected casks from inland and coastal distilleries are hand-picked at the height of their maturation for their unique umami profile - only one in 25,000 casks succeeds in bringing this elusive character to life.

Johnnie Walker Master Blender, Emma Walker, says: "When we set out to create Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami, it wasn't just a blending experience, but a gastronomic exploration. Getting acquainted with the intensity of the umami flavor was the key to creating this exceptional Scotch Whisky. Best served neat with caviar to unlock the full depth of this unique sensory experience."

Chef Kei Kobayashi, whose restaurant Kei, located in Paris, maintained its three Michelin stars in the 2023 release of the Michelin Guide adds: "Umami possesses a mysterious quality that ignites our senses, revealing sumptuous taste, complexity and depth. Encapsulating that alluring flavor through Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami allows you to immerse your palate in an exquisite Scotch Whisky of subtle richness."

Julie Bramham, Global Brand Director of Johnnie Walker, says: "This limited edition release represents our commitment to push the boundaries of what's possible in whisky – and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami does just that. In partnering with Chef Kei to create this unique liquid, we're driving intrigue and excitement to recruit a new generation of whisky lovers – enhancing a traditional drinking moment to create an immersive experience that elevates all of the senses."

To taste, apple and white peach touch the senses first. Sweet, smooth and long – mandarins, blood oranges and red berries, the longer finish of sweet wood spice, a touch of smoked meat, warming salt and pepper with a long, sweet fruit finish.

Available exclusively at Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh from September 18, 2023, before pre-sales launch globally on October 2, 2023, and available to buy globally from October 16, 2023.

About Chef Kei:

Born in Japan, Kei Kobayashi grew up in the region of Nagano surrounded by food. His father was the chef at a kaiseki restaurant that served Japanese traditional cuisine, but Kei Kobayashi's interest in food took on a different direction when he moved to France to train in prestigious restaurants, under the direct supervision of notable French chefs such as Gilles Goujon and Alain Ducasse.

In 2011, Kei opened his first restaurant in Paris and one year later was awarded his first Michelin star. The restaurant received a second star in 2017, then a third in 2020 (and re-awarded in March 2023). He is the first Japanese chef to have been awarded three Michelin stars in France. Known as a virtuoso in flavor pairings and combinations, Kobayashi's dishes emphasize perfect design with a distinct Japanese influence. His creations spotlight the quality of the produce, enhanced with his delicate touch.

About Johnnie Walker: 

Johnnie Walker is the world's number one Scotch Whisky brand (IWSR 2022 in value) enjoyed by people in over 180 countries around the world. Since the time of its founder, John Walker, those who blend its whiskies have pursued flavor and quality above all else. 

Today's range of award-winning whiskies includes Johnnie Walker Red Label, Black Label, Double Black, Green Label, Gold Label Reserve, Aged 18 Years and Blue Label. Together they account for over 21 million cases sold annually (IWSR, 2022), making Johnnie Walker the most popular Scotch Whisky brand in the world1

About Diageo: 

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan's, Smirnoff and Cîroc vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness. 

Diageo is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at Visit Diageo's global responsible drinking resource,, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice. 

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