J&B Rare

Difford's Guide

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Product Information

Closure: Screw / Stelvin cap

More about J&B Rare

Produced by: Diageo United Kingdom
Owned by: Diageo plc
UK distribution by: Catalyst Brands
product image

alc./vol: 40%

Proof: 80°

Vintage: Non-vintage

Aged: No age statement

Product of: Product of United Kingdom United Kingdom

The number four Blended Scotch Whisky in the world, J&B Rare comprises a blend of some 40 different whiskies. This blended Scotch whisky attracted an A-list following in the 1960s including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.
Justerini & Brooks, the firm behind J&B Blended Scotch, was founded by a young Italian called Giacomo Justerini. He worked at his uncle’s distillery in Bologna, where his skill and understanding of blending spirits made him a likely candidate to succeed his uncle. However, his destiny was changed by his love for a beautiful singer, Margherita Bellino, who dreamed of becoming an opera star. She left Italy for London, telling Giacomo that she had a part in an opera. He gave notice to his father and followed his love to London.

Giacomo decided to establish his own liqueur business in London and in 1749 set up stills and infusion vessels in the basement of a shop in the Haymarket at the junction with Pall Mall. Through Margherita’s theatrical friends, Giacomo met George Johnson who invested capital in the business and took charge of administration. The small shop and Giacomo’s concoctions attracted gentry and royalty, gaining its first Royal Warrant in 1760.

The Brooks name was introduced in the 19th century when the business was purchased by Alfred Brooks, a Bordeaux and Burgundy oenophile who introduced fine wines to Justerini & Brooks’ portfolio.

And Giacomo? He only worked in the business until soon after the first Royal Warrant was granted by George III. Then he sold his interest and returned to Bologna with his profits – but without his love.

Review and Tasting

Sampled on 23/12/2012


Clear, pale golden.


Malted barley and vanilla custard with a dusting of nutmeg spice.


Light, mellow palate, with barley, vanilla custard fruitiness and crème caramel.


Custard and fudge with lingering crème caramel and nutmeg.

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