Justerini & Brooks

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Justerini & Brooks Ltd.
Industry Manufacturing and distillation of liquors and wine
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Products Distilled and blended liquors, wine
Website justerinis.com

Justerini & Brooks (originally called Johnson & Justerini) is an alcoholic beverage company founded in 1749 in the City of London to deliver fine blended scotch whisky, wine and spirits to various aristocratic households. The firm has been a supplier to every British monarch [1] since the coronation of King George III in 1761. In 1831, Johnson & Justerini was bought by Alfred Brooks and renamed Justerini & Brooks .

Today, Justerini & Brooks sells to restaurants, hotels and private individuals.[2] The firm also represents leading winemakers and chateaux including Domaine du Comte Liger Belair from La Romanée, Pétrus, Château Lafleur, Bruno Clair, Didier Dagueneau, Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm, Domaine Weinbach and Altare in Barolo. The firm is also known for developing the J&B Rare blended Scotch whisky.

Justerini & Brooks is owned by multinational Diageo plc.[3]


J&B Rare Blend, the standard J&B whisky brand, is a blend of forty-two Scottish malt and grain whiskies. It has an ABV of 40%. Single malts Knockando, Auchroisk and Glen Spey are at its heart.[4] In terms of flavour, its closest competitor is Cutty Sark.[5] It is aimed mainly for the export market and is available in a few different variants in Europe, America and Korea.

Furthermore, J&B's portfolio includes:

  • J&B Reserve 15-year-old
  • Jet 12-year-old
  • Exception (a pure malt limited to France)


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.[6]

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.[7]

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:

In popular culture[edit]

Throughout the 1970s, J&B whisky bottles cropped up with remarkable regularity in Italian poliziotteschi, commedia sexy all'italiana and particularly giallo films as a signifier of cosmopolitan prosperity, sophistication and virility, probably influenced by the brand's popularity among the Italian American "Rat Pack" celebrities Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.[8]


  1. ^ "Royal Warrant Holders Association". royalwarrant.org. Retrieved 2016-09-13. 
  2. ^ "Wines". Diageo.com. Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  3. ^ "Diageo Brands". diageo.com. Retrieved 2016-09-13. 
  4. ^ Great Whiskies. Dorling Kindersley. 2011. p. 196. ISBN 978-1-4053-6018-0. 
  5. ^ Whisky Opus. Dorling Kindersley. 2012. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-4093-7580-7. 
  6. ^ "Justerini and Brooks Whisky". Master of Malt. Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  7. ^ "Justerini & Brooks - Our Royal Warrants". Justerinis.com. Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  8. ^ Mikel J. Koven, La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2006, pages 49-50.

External links[edit]