A lot of the people who laboured to produce some of the world’s finest whisky chose to immortalize their names by adding it to their cherished spirit, while others had the honour of having their names adorned on whisky bottles.
Naming a whisky can be an especially daunting task since it is such a crucial part of the branding process, representing your brand and the associations it may develop in the minds of whisky mavens all over.
A number of brand names are inspired by lore, some by family names and some by their surroundings and landmarks in their vicinity such as many Speyside distilleries carry the prefix ‘Glen’, the Gaelic name for a deep valley in Scotland. The word ‘Glen’ is often followed by the name of the river that the Glen belongs to, such as The Glenlivet, the Speyside’s most iconic distillery. Some whisky brand names are simply whimsical and amusing such as Monkey Shoulder, named after a physical disorder that plagued the ‘malt men’ in the old days, or the Famous Grouse, named after the official ‘game’ bird of Scotland.
Similarly, some great whisky makers of their times have created a lasting legacy for themselves by adding their names to their whiskies, forever intertwining themselves in stories, legend and memories. These aren’t just any whisky brands, but among the best of the best, and represent the prestigious and the most desired spirits to have ever been bottled. Check out some of the best whisky brands that were named after their founders.
As famous as Scotch whiskies can get, this iconic blended Scotch receives its name from the two great men who revolutionized the world of whisky with their innovation and commitment.
The Chivas Regal brand is named after John & James Chivas, the Chivas Brothers, who created one of the world’s most valued whisky brands out of a grocery store at King Street, Aberdeen. From 1801 to present day, Chivas Regal continues to redefine what whisky & opulence mean.
What John Jameson created way back in 1780 is now the world’s largest Irish whiskey brand, spearheading the revival of Irish whiskey worldwide. This esteemed title belongs to Jameson on the basis of sheer merit alone.
The great John Jameson
Ironically, the creator of the world’s most famous Irish whiskey was Scottish but that did not stop John Jameson from assimilating into the Irish culture, or share their penchant for fine whiskey. This triple-distilled goodness is a unique blend of grain whiskey and pot-still whiskey aged for 4 years to create a drink that, like its creator, makes everything better when it becomes a part of it.
The story of Ballantine’s began all the way back in 1827 with George Ballantine Sr.’s whisky trade in Edinburgh, Scotland that eventually grew into an enormous whisky blending practice, paving the way for the Ballantine’s family to become one of the most influential in the world of Scotch whisky.
Today, Ballantine’s is one of the world’s largest selling blended Scotch whiskies, and a quality that makes it worthy of carrying the Ballantine’s family name on the bottle.
Alexander ‘Alec’ Walker and Alexander Walker II named their proprietary blends after their father and grandfather respectively, the late John Walker who established the family business as a grocery store dealing in malt and grain whiskies in Kilmarnock, Scotland.
Today, the Johnnie Walker brand is an astonishingly successful and bestselling brand of blended Scotch whisky, establishing itself as a firm and permanently etched reminder of the man who envisioned a bright future for blended Scotch whisky.
The Tullamore D.E.W. brand carries the initials of Daniel. E. Williams, the man who managed, and later owned the distillery, guiding it to prosperity. Williams was the General Manager of the Tullamore based distillery under then owner, Bernard Daly.
Daniel. E. Williams
It is currently the second largest selling brand of Irish whiskey worldwide, a triple-distilled blended whiskey created by marrying pot still, malt and grain whiskey matured in two different types of barrels. If one has to give their name to a whisky, the Tullamore D.E.W. is sure one deserving drink.
This Bourbon has cemented itself as a cult American classic ever since it appeared on the whiskey scene in the country, and has been named after Augustus Bulleit. Credited with igniting the passion for Bourbon in the Bulleit family, it was Augustus’ recipe that founder Tom Bulleit tweaked to create the current Bulleit Bourbon.
Known for its unique tasting notes owing to the high Rye content in the mash bill, Bulleit Bourbon has witnessed an exceptional amount of success and accolades among whiskey lovers worldwide.
A strong contender for the title of the most recognizable whiskey brand all over the world, Jack Daniel’s is named after Jasper Newton Daniel. The Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 was created by Daniel’s with Nearest Green, a former slave who taught him the art of distillation, and served as the first Master Distiller of the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey Distillery.
Jasper Newton ‘Jack’ Daniel
This is a truly iconic whiskey brand, and has made ‘Jack Daniel’ a household name in just about any place in the world. Jack Daniel’s was, and remains the drink of choice for many superstars, rock musicians and performers such as Frank Sinatra, Keith Richards and the late Lemmy Kilmister.
William Teacher had sworn to not give his name to a whisky until he was fully satisfied that it was the finest blend he had created, and lucky for him, he succeeded. Today, the Teacher’s Highland Cream expression is a wildly popular blended Scotch whisky from the standard segment, and deservedly so.
It is a smooth, peaty and creamy delight that is loved by the masses, and makes for an excellent everyday dram that has all the qualities to be addressed as a ‘classic’.
These are the most legendary whisky brands that have been named after their founders.