J&B Justerini & Brooks Ultima
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A master distiller from Italy, Giacamo Justerini (the ‘J’ in J&B), falls head over heels for an Opera singer, Margherita Bellini, and follows her to England. His love is unrequited, but Margherita introduces him to Samuel Johnson who will in turn introduce him to his future business partner, his nephew, George Johnson. Two generations of Johnsons later we meet the other initial in J&B – Alfred Brooks. Brooks buys the company from Johnson and renames it Justerini & Brooks. Brooks hears of Andrew Usher, an Edinburgh Spirit merchant, who likes to experiment and was the first person to commercially blend whisky. Justerini & Brooks task Usher with creating a smoother blend for a new audience, so he brings his business partner into the mix – James Anderson. Together they develop the J&B Club blend, one of the earliest Scotch house blends, and they acquire the business together.