Johnnie Walker is the world's most recognised whisky brand and its origins are firm rooted in the town of Kilmarnock. In 1820 a young John Walker gave up farming and set up shop in Sandbeg Street, Kilmarnock, dealing in groceries and wines and spirits.
The business was developed by Johnnie Walker's grandson, Sir Alexander Walker, whose office still stands in John Finnie Street, Kilmarnock.
The business expanded over the coming years to concentrate more and more on whisky, in particular blending and bottling. By the end of the 19th century John Walker and Sons was one of the largest whisky operations in Scotland.
The famous Red Label and Black Label varieties were introduced in 1910, featuring the iconic Striding Man brand trademark. By 1945 Red Label was the world's best selling whisky.
There are many landmarks around the town of Kilmarnock which bear some significance to this international institution and a commemorative statue stands in the town centre near the Laigh Kirk.