J&B Rare Re-launch – Scotch Whisky News


J&B Rare Re-launch

Author: Chadwick Delaney, Managing Director, Justerini & Brooks

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1. Where was J&B Rare distributed before it was taken back?

From 1997 until April 2018, J&B Rare was distributed initially by Diageo Great Britain, and then subsequently through a third party. The decision was made to return distribution back to Justerini & Brooks as of 1st May 2018. A move that made perfect sense, given the heritage and association of the brand: Justerini & Brooks being the original creators of J&B Rare back in the 1930s.

2. Was it available in the UK during this time? If so, where?

Between 1997 and April 2018, it was available principally in Grocery and Convenience stores. Bringing the whisky back into the Justerini & Brooks wine and spirits portfolio made perfect sense: we maintain strong ties with both premium on and off trade clients, with the J&B Rare serves now being listed across Drake & Morgan and Darwin & Wallace groups.

3. Why now for its return?

As the creators of one of the world’s most distinctive whisky brands, Justerini & Brooks was delighted to welcome J&B Rare back to the family and introduce the blend to a new generation of whisky drinkers. We believe the timing is perfect: consumers are more and more concerned with provenance, heritage and brand stories. Originally enjoyed by maverick men and women and brought to eminence by the Hollywood rat-pack, J&B Rare has amassed a rich heritage, alongside delivering a quality blend that is enjoyed neat as a cocktail. J&B Rare’s return to Justerini & Brooks marks a pivotal moment in the company’s longstanding association with its house brand and are excited to introduce J&B Rare to a new whisky audience throughout Great Britain in 2018 and beyond.

4. Why Waitrose?

Waitrose and Partners is a company that we are delighted to be working very closely with: they provide the perfect platform to introduce new customers to J&B Rare. We were delighted to be part of the wonderful Waitrose Drinks Festival this year and invite their customers to sample J&B Rare. We had fantastic feedback on the quality of the liquid, especially its versatility and mixability.

5. Any plans to build further off-trade distribution?

Yes! We are very excited about the many, varied opportunities we have in 2019 and beyond to further elevate distribution of the brand in the GB on and off-trade.


J&B Rare Scotch whisky is a blend of 42 malt and grain whiskies. It is one of the most popular blends in the world, known for its subtle, smooth and complex flavour. Created in the 1930s, its lighter style suited the palates of post-Prohibition America, rising to prominence from its public association with the Hollywood Rat Pack in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Since early 2018, Justerini & Brooks took back the exclusive distribution in Great Britain after 21 years.

Prior to this, J&B was distributed by Diageo via a 3rd party, and only available in the UK market from a small number of grocer and cash & carry’s. The whisky now sits alongside Justerini & Brooks’ existing portfolio of fine wines and rare malts.

Tasting notes:

Fruity and aromatic on the nose with notes of soft apple and pear. Naturally pale in colour with layers of rich vanilla, well balanced with a smooth finish. Matured in oak casks for a minimum of three years, the finer heart malts are aged for longer to add fullness and depth of flavour, creating the unique taste of J&B Rare. Lively and light, New Grain creates a subtle canvas for the blend. New Malts add body and aromatic notes of spice and fresh fruit. These are perfectly balanced by American oak and just a hint of smoke.

RRP: £22.50 (Currently available at £18.50, Waitrose & Partners nationwide until 1 January 2019)
Strength/size: 70cl, 40% vol
Distributer: Justerini & Brooks

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