To celebrate the launch of its new “Elusive Umami” expression, which is available globally from October 17, Johnnie Walker Blue Label has announced a unique partnership with Grammy award-winning producer and DJ Honey Dijon.
For the collaboration, Dijon worked with master blender Dr. Emma Walker to dive into the liquid’s blending process and complex “fifth taste” profile, resulting in the creation of a new track to “pair” with Elusive Umami, “Earthly Delights.”
Using PlantWave technology (which extracts vibrational waves from oak trees to turn their biorhythms into sound), Dijon converted nature’s rhythms into the melody of the euphoric track.
“I pride myself on being a sonic storyteller,” says Dijon. “Transforming the biorhythms into music was something that interested me—music and rhythm exist in all parts of life in some way; creating music from plants added a random dimension to my process, which was cool.”
“For Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami, only one in 25,000 casks made the cut when we carefully searched our reserves for that new delicious umami flavor profile,” adds Dr. Walker. “Each expression of the Scotch whisky was hand-picked, allowing us to bring the unique character of this innovative blend to life, which Dijon has captured perfectly in the new track—as a true feast for the senses, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami needed the right sound accompaniment. “
Dr. Walker also highlighted the connection between whisky and music as art forms. “Blending is a skill that’s as much an art as a science; we pull from our knowledge of all whisky types, similarly to the way Honey Dijon drew from her wealth of experience in music to create ‘Earthly Delights’ in a way that only she could.”
The track will be available on YouTube (@Johnniewalkerwhisky) from October 18, and can be listened to with a visualizer developed by the creative collective Showstudio.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami itself was also a collaborative process, created under the expert palates of Walker and renowned chef Kei Kobayashi. Selected casks from both inland and coastal distilleries were hand-picked for their unique umami profile.
The resulting Scotch is balanced and unusual, boasting sweet and savory flavors, notes of blood oranges and red berries with sweet wood spice, a touch of smoked meat and a hint of salt and pepper with a long, sweet fruit finish.
In Dijon’s words, it tastes just how she likes it—smooth. “I had a lovely time with Dr. Emma Walker discussing the blending process; I love true artistry and was amazed how much goes into the process of creating a taste.”
As chef Kei Kobayashi (whose restaurant Kei in Paris maintains three Michelin stars) adds, umami possesses a mysterious quality that ignites our senses.
“[It reveals] sumptuous taste, complexity, and depth,” he says. “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.”
This limited-edition Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami release clocks in at 43% ABV, at $369.99/£295 while supplies last.