The new label is part of a limited edition release and is only available in the US.
Just in time for International Women’s Day next week, and Women’s History Month in the US, Johnnie Walker has announced the arrival of Jane Walker – bottles of the classic scotch featuring a female version of their iconic striding logo.
"As a brand that has stood for progress for nearly 200 years, Johnnie Walker is proud to take this next step forward by introducing Jane Walker as another symbol of the brand’s commitment to progress,” the company said in a statement.
Symbolically, the idea feels inclusive and a part of the current celebration of women's rights, but the label gender switch is a part of parent company Diageo’s efforts to broaden their audience and ensure their whiskey appeals to women.
As boutique spirits and trendy distillers have risen in popularity, it seems more and more women are interested in drinking whiskey - the strong liquor historically reserved for cigar rooms and gentlemen's clubs, poker games and boardrooms. Diageo is pretty keen to jump in on the trend.
Off the back of the global fever for Mad Men, the company enlisted Christina Hendricks as their Johnnie Walker brand ambassador, and more recently, they ran an advertisement campaign titled #LoveScotch, which included print and social media ads showing ladies enjoying a tipple together.
They've also buddied up with Women Who Whiskey - a whiskey appreciation club just for women. The club hosts tastings and whiskey and food pairing events and was created to help to disband the idea that whiskey is a man's drink.
While one US dollar from each bottle sold will be donated to organisations championing women like She Should Run and Monumental Women, Jane Walker does feel like more of a stunt than a movement, with Johnnie Walker, like some other brands, trying to tap into the 'year of the woman'. The bottle is a limited release with just 250,000 bottles being sold, which will only be available to buy in the US.
Prominent female bartenders and cocktail masters, as well as women who just love drinking whiskey, have called out Johnnie Walker for being tokenistic, lazy - even patronising with its limited edition Jane labels.
I can’t be the only one who finds Diageo’s attempt to recruit women to drink whisky a bit patronising and frankly lazy, I didn’t think we needed special lady whisky for our delicate little palettes #Janewalker #Johnnywalker— DeeSliabhLiag (@DeeSliabhLiag) February 26, 2018