Over 200 bartenders from around the world entered for the chance to win an exclusive trip to Scotland
Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one Scotch Whisky1, has announced the winners of its Black Label Global Bartender Challenge. To be in with a chance of winning the three-day immersive trip in Scotland, bartenders were invited to publish a public Instagram post of their own signature Johnnie Walker Black Label cocktail, explaining why Johnnie Walker Black Label works perfectly in the serve.
Following a judging process with over 200 entries across 47 countries, the winning serves have been chosen and include Thabisó Molonyama from South Africa with Nimbus Moon; Sampath Rathnayake from Dubai with Signatures Collector; Anna Postnikova from Czech Republic with Johnnie, Wine & Fruits;and Ariel Todeschini da Motta from Brazil with A Foot in Brasil.
The initiative was designed to shine a light on Johnnie Walker Black Label’s liquid credentials and give back to those who have supported the award-winning blended Scotch whisky within the bartender community.
Thabisó Molonyama, winner of the Africa region, said: “I still can’t believe I won – I’m still waiting for someone to tell me it’s a prank! As for the cocktail, I was hoping to capture exactly how the judging panel described the drink, which makes me glad. The aim was to showcase the versatility of Johnnie Walker Black Label; keeping it simple and yet complex in experience”.
Anna Postnikova, winner of the Europe region, said: “I got very excited about this challenge from the very first moment it appeared on Instagram, as it had a completely different concept than online challenges usually have. Not the one who gets the most likes wins, but the actual judging panel, considering many aspects of the cocktail, presentation, and recipe. That was the exact moment I knew that I wanted to give it a shot and post my submission. And now, knowing who judged the cocktails, I am even more excited that I’m the winner for the Europe region and can’t wait to meet everyone else in Edinburgh! Thank you for this amazing challenge for bartenders”.
The four winners were selected by a judging panel including Tim Philips-Johansson, Johnnie Walker Global Brand Ambassador, Adrián Michalčík, World Class Global Bartender of the Year 2022, and Nick Tesar, the 2022 Australia World Class winner and winner of the World Class Johnnie Walker challenge. Entries were shortlisted and recreated by the judges during a tasting session in Oslo to determine which used Johnnie Walker Black label in the most exciting yet balanced way.
Johnnie Walker Global Brand Ambassador Tim Philips-Johansson said: “It has been amazing to see the variety of submissions we’ve received, each playing on different flavours within the whisky, which is what this challenge has really shone a light on. From short serves to long serves, fruit-forward flavours to spicy and sweet undertones, it really has been the most enjoyable task working through these creations with the judging panel. It’s a real testament to the creativity and inspiration that underpins the bartender community; I can’t wait to meet the winners and take them on an in-depth exploration of Johnnie Walker in Edinburgh.”
The four bartenders have won an exclusive three-night immersive Black Label experience in Scotland, the home of Johnnie Walker. The trip, which is due to take place in May 2023, will include a behind-the-scenes distillery tour; a visit to the Diageo Archives; experiences at Johnnie Walker Princes Street – including the venue’s most premium offering: the Whisky Makers’ Cellar tour – and a deconstructed tasting of Johnnie Walker Black Label with Dr Emma Walker, Johnnie Walker’s first female Master Blender.
Johnnie Walker Black Label was first created over 100 years ago by the Walker family who were not content with the one-note flavours and inconsistent whiskies of their day. They took bold steps to make a significantly better Scotch Whisky – expertly blended to create the rich, iconic flavour that is still made today. Johnnie Walker Black Label takes the very best whiskies from the Four Corners of Scotland, each expressing the aromas and tasted typical of that region, to create a beautifully balanced liquid celebrated worldwide.
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