The House of Walker is a traveling promotion by Johnnie Walker where the brand rents out a magnificent house and invites Johnnie fans to come in and taste the goods. I expected it to be a boozier version of the House of Usher with less falling, but it turned out to just be a really nice house in Bel-Air filled with all the Johnnie Walker you can drink (responsibly, of course). Each room was designed to match a specific label, so you had the Red Label Room, the Black Label Room and the infamous Blue Label Room, where I spent a good amount of time quaffing the good stuff. Guests were treated to a guided tasting by Master of Whisky Stephen Wilson; brand ambassador Christina Hendricks of Mad Men was also there to help with the tastings and lend the night some star power. I was lucky enough to be able to sit down with Christina for a bit to go over all things whisky.
Out of all the Johnnie Walker colors, which is your favorite?
I like Black on the rocks. But you know, I have Blue for special occasions. It really is unique and really beautiful. And I love the Gold label chilled. I think it’s really interesting and different. But normally you catch me ordering Black on the rocks.
In general, do you prefer blends or single malts?
Well, I think I enjoy blended because now I know the process of it and I’m just sort of so impressed with the palates and the work put into recreating this flavor each and every time over this amount of years. I think it’s quite impressive so it makes me enjoy it while I drink it more.
Do you cook at home?
Do you pair your whisky with your food?
Yeah, sometimes. I mean, I often end the evening with it, too, like an after-dinner sort of thing.
What would you say your favorite pairing is, food-wise?
Well, you know, it’s a classic and it’s traditional, so I sort of like to have it with a steak.
Any particular type of steak?
A New York. New York medium rare.
When you’re out in LA, where do you go to order Johnnie?
I like The Varnish downtown. (Read our interview with The Varnish’s Cedd Moses.) A lot of the places that I like are downtown. I love The Edison, I think it’s just gorgeous. A beautiful place to sit, people watch, and sip your drink. Actually, this place isn’t downtown but I just discovered this place called Pour Vous that I think is beautiful. I like those kinds of moody, dramatic looking rooms.
If you’re drinking a whisky cocktail, what are you drinking? What’s your favorite old-school cocktail and what’s your favorite modern cocktail?
My favorite modern one and especially because it’s the holidays is the Gold Label Frost. Just some apple cider and some apple bitters and it just tastes like fall. Just crisp and chilled — I really like that one. And old-school? Gosh. I mean, an old-fashioned. I like an old-fashioned.
More of the good stuff on Food Republic: