Justerini & Brooks
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2007)|
Justerini & Brooks is a fine wine business selling wines to merchants, restaurants, hotels and private clients. It is known for developing the J&B blended Scotch whisky. The company is owned by multinational Diageo plc.
Furthermore, J&B's portfolio includes:
- J&B Reserve 15-year-old
- Jet 12-year-old
- Exception (a pure malt limited to France)
It is aimed mainly for the export market and is available in a few different variants in Europe, America and Korea among other places. The company, originally called Johnson & Justerini, was founded in 1749 in the City of London delivering fine wine and spirits to various aristocratic households, as well as supplying King George III. In 1831, Johnson & Justerini was bought by Alfred Brooks and renamed Justerini & Brooks.
In 1749, Giacomo Justerini (or Giustarini) from Bologna, fell in love with an opera singer and followed her to London, bringing with him a number of recipes for liqueurs created by his uncle, who was a distiller. He found an English partner, George Johnson, and together they set up as wine merchants. In 1760, Justerini returned to his native land after selling the business to Johnson. That same year, King George III honoured the firm with the first of its eight Royal Warrants.
In 1831, the business was bought by Alfred Brooks, a gentleman of means - it was said that his St John's Wood gardens were sufficiently large to include a snipe shoot. The firm became Justerini & Brooks, and its headquarters were established in Regent's Park. Charles Dickens was an early customer.
Seeing the potential of blended whisky, J&B was one of the first London spirits merchants to buy up stocks of mature malt whisky and create its own "house" blend. This was named Club (and is still available from J&B's shops in St. James's Street, London and Alva Street, Edinburgh). During Prohibition the company was promoting a brand they had created specifically for the American market, J&B Rare, and when Prohibition came to an end in 1933, their activities began to pay dividends in and around New York City.
In the early 1950s J&B merged with another company to form United Wine Traders. In 1962, UWT merged with gin producer W&A Gilbey to form International Distillers & Vintners. In 1963 bottling of J&B was carried out at the Strathleven Bonded Warehouse plant in Dumbarton, opened by Edward Heath, helping J&B win six Queens awards for export.
IDV became part of Grand Metropolitan in 1972, that merged with Guinness to become Diageo. Bottling was moved in 2000. Today J&B is the second best selling blended whisky in the world, after Johnnie Walker.
J&B is authorized to be commercialized in:
- Africa only in Algeria and South Africa.
- North and South America except Guyana.
- Asia only in China, Japan, Jordan, India, Lebanon, South Korea, and Taiwan.
- Europe except Armenia.
- Oceania only in Australia and New Zealand.