Winston Churchill Made A Painting In Honor Of His Favorite Whiskey, Johnnie Walker

While Winston Churchill may not be known for his paintings, the leader was an accomplished artist and some of his pieces have sold for millions of dollars. One of his oil paintings, "Jug with Bottles," depicts a recognizable bottle of Johnnie Walker Black alongside a bottle of brandy, empty snifter glasses, and a glass jug. It has been said that Churchill drank these concoctions with soda water to get his day started. If Churchill used the bottles to wake up, he used painting as a meditative wind-down. "He did it all his life, even in his darkest hour he was still painting if he could," Simon Hucker, co-head of modern and post-war British art at Sotheby's, told Agence France-Presse.

Rumors have circulated that Churchill was a lover of brandies and cognacs, and Churchill grew especially fond of Ararat, an Armenian brandy, he sampled at the 1945 Yalta Conference. For Churchill to prefer Johnnie Walker Black, however, comes as no surprise, as a smooth dram of the golden liquid offers aromatic notes of peppery smoke before a sweet vanilla and toffee palate hits your mouth and a finish of fruity, smoky peat settles on the tongue. One sip of Johnnie Walker Black is made up of a blend of some of the more unique Scottish whiskies, and connoisseurs have come to appreciate the bold flavor packed in an affordable label.

A man of many talents

Winston Churchill's 1930s still life with the Johnnie Walker bottle was given as a gift to an American businessman and special envoy to Europe. Since Churchill primarily focused on painting landscape scenes, the booze-themed subject matter is rare in his collection of paintings. Churchill also painted "Bottlescape," a similarly Impressionist-style still life of a collection of alcohol bottles and an assortment of differently-sized Glencairn glasses, three of which are filled. A lamp casts a warm glow over the scene.

While "Jug with Bottles" was auctioned off for nearly $1.3 million in 2020, "Bottlescape" remains on display at Churchill's estate Chartwell. Chartwell served as Churchill's primary residence in the 1920s and '30s where Churchill spent his time painting, writing, and hosting guests. The estate quickly drained Churchills finances, but with the help of friends, the property was bought for the National Trust and Churchill remained at the estate until his death. Today, visitors can view Churchill's paintings at Chartwell, visit his painting studio, wander the surrounding gardens, and participate in exhibitions organized by the National Trust. Even if you can't make it to Kent for a visit, you can find a bottle of Johnnie Walker and toast to Churchill's creative musings from the comfort of your own home.