Johnnie Walker master blender bags OBE medal as the brand keeps walking

“The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he’s going. Johnnie Walker, keep walking.”

The above tagline was the commercial of the premium whisky brand, Johnnie Walker which ran for a very long time and later gave birth to the £100m ‘Keep Walking’ campaign whose core message was to inspire men to progress. It was a testament to brilliant marketing to a brand (Johnnie Walker) that was granted a Royal Warrant by King George V to supply whisky to the royal household since January 1934. It still holds a Royal Warrant today.

Interestingly, Johnnie Walker master blender Jim Beveridge was presented with an OBE medal recently in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Scotch whisky industry.

Her Majesty the Queen presented Beveridge with his medal during a ceremony at Windsor Castle. He appeared in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List back in June.

The master blender’s career with Johnnie Walker owner Diageo spans almost 40 years, during which time he has established himself as a leading figure in Scotch whisky.

Based at Diageo’s blending rooms in Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, Beveridge leads a team of 12 blenders responsible for the quality and consistency of the group’s total Scotch portfolio. He also works closely with other industry members, including coppers and coppersmiths.

Beveridge’s 40th year with Diageo in 2020 coincides with Johnnie Walker’s 200th anniversary. Beveridge is only the sixth person to hold the title of master blender in the history of Johnnie Walker, the first being brand founder John Walker.

Despite his extensive achievements, Beveridge is widely considered in the industry to be a modest and unassuming character, focused on nurturing the next generation of talent.

He said: “It was a wonderful experience to receive this award from Her Majesty the Queen and it is an honour that I am delighted to receive on behalf of all the people I have worked with in Scotch whisky over the past four decades.

“Scotch truly is a team effort at every step, from grain to glass, and it is a privilege to work in such a special industry. I dedicate this award to all the women and men in our distilleries, coppersmiths, cooperage, warehouses and bottling halls across Scotland who are all responsible for making Johnnie Walker.”

Ivan Menezes, CEO of Diageo, added: “Jim is renowned in the Scotch industry for his dedication to the craft of whisky-making and for the incredible whiskies he creates for Johnnie Walker, but he is also known as an exceptional colleague and friend to the people he works with. This is worthy recognition of an extraordinary career spanning four decades.”

Today, Johnnie Walker is the biggest whisky brand in the world and its slogan is has been adopted and embraced everywhere, as a rallying cry for progress, as encouragement in adversity, as a joyful expression of optimism and as the best piece of advice you’re ever likely to hear.


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