Johnnie Walker is a brand of Scotch whisky owned by Diageo and produced in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland. It is the most widely distributed brand of blended Scotch whisky in the world, sold in almost every country and with yearly sales of over 130 million bottles.
Originally known as Walker's Killme Whisky, the Johnnie Walker brand is a legacy left by John ‘Johnnie’ Walker after he started to sell whisky in his grocer’s shop in Ayrshire, Scotland. The brand became popular, but after Walker's death in 1857 it was his son Alexander Walker and grandson Alexander Walker II who were largely responsible for establishing the scotch as a popular brand. Under John Walker, whisky sales represented eight percent of the firm’s income; by the time Alexander was ready to pass on the company to his own sons, that figure had increased to between 90 and 95 percent.
Prior to 1860 it was illegal to sell blended (malt and grain mixed together) whisky. During that time John Walker sold a number of whiskys — notably his own Walker’s Kilmarnock. In 1865 John’s son Alexander produced their first blend, Walker’s Old Highland.