Who was Johnnie Walker? The man behind the whisky brand

It has emerged today that a new Johnnie Walker visitor centre has been earmarked for the former House of Fraser's shop in Princes Street.

Saturday, 24th November 2018, 6:05 am
Updated Saturday, 24th November 2018, 8:49 am
Johnnie Walker are eyeing the former Frasers store in Edinburgh
Johnnie Walker are eyeing the former Frasers store in Edinburgh

But who was Johnnie Walker?

Grocer John Walker started selling whisky from his family store in King Street, Kilmarnock, in 1820.

READ MORE: Johnnie Walker visitor centre set for Edinburgh’s old House of Fraser store

Nearly 200 years on, and the tipple that bore his name has become a global behemoth.

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The biggest Scotch Whisky brand in the world – if not in the bars at home – with annual sales it ships out more than 220 million bottles a year.

Now in more than 180 countries, it has helped give Diageo more than a third of the world’s Scotch whisky market.

A marketing push has seen high profile sports sponsorship of Formula One and golf tournaments in recent years.

Diageo also hopes to capitalise on Edinburgh’s surge in popularity with the Far East, another key target growth.

Winston Churchill and Richard Nixon are thought to have been fans.