Diageo opens landmark global Johnnie Walker visitor experience – Scotch Whisky News

Diageo opens landmark global Johnnie Walker visitor experience

Flag raised to the future of Scotch whisky tourism to mark launch of pioneering attraction

Today we have launched Johnnie Walker Princes Street, the eight-floor new visitor experience for the world’s best-selling Scotch whisky, in the heart of Scotland’s capital city.

Four and a half years in the making, Johnnie Walker Princes Street is the centrepiece of our £185million pound investment in Scotch whisky tourism in Scotland – the largest single investment programme of its kind ever seen in Scotch whisky tourism.

To mark the opening, a Johnnie Walker flag was raised above the landmark building by Diageo’s Chief Executive, Ivan Menezes, and the Managing Director of Johnnie Walker Princes Street, Barbara Smith.

“This is a proud day for everyone. Last year Johnnie Walker celebrated 200 years since founder John Walker opened the doors to his small grocery store and today represents the next chapter of the incredible story. Johnnie Walker Princes Street is a landmark investment in Scotch whisky and into Scotland and it sets a new standard for immersive visitor attractions. It celebrates Scotland’s remarkable heritage, our incredible skilled whisky-makers, and looks to the future by engaging new generations of consumers from around the world in the magic of Scotch whisky.”

Ivan MenezesChief Executive, Diageo

  • Set over 71,500 sq ft, Johnnie Walker Princes Street takes the concept of personalisation to a scale never before seen in a global drinks visitor experience.
  • On the Journey of Flavour tour visitors will have their personal flavour preferences mapped with drinks tailored to their palate.
  • There are more than 800 flavour combinations available in the innovative dispensation systems meaning you could visit every day for more than two years and not have the same experience twice.
  • Over 150 diverse and talented new employees, speaking 23 languages between them, have been recruited and will bring to life the 200-year story of the Johnnie Walker brand.
  • Formerly a traditional department store, the building features a state-of-the-art experiential retail space where shoppers can select from rare and exclusive whiskies, fill their own bottles and have them personalised.
  • Johnnie Walker Princes Street opens its doors with a Green Tourism Gold Award – the highest sustainability accolade for a visitor attraction – and on the roof terrace are planters to provide herbs for garnishes and infusions for drinks, a sedum roof covering and bird boxes to encourage biodiversity.

Johnnie Walker Princes Street is crowned by two world-class rooftop bars and a terrace with breath-taking views of the Edinburgh skyline, including the Explorers’ Bothy whisky bar stocked with 150 different whiskies, and the 1820 cocktail bar where drinks are paired with a carefully curated menu sourced from, and representing in culinary form, the four corners of Scotland.

We are committed to contributing to the local community by offering our award-winning hospitality training programme for unemployed people in our special Johnnie Walker Learning for Life academy. The building can also host events in the 200-capacity space.

“We’re thrilled to be opening the doors and helping to re-build the tourism and hospitality industry after a very difficult 18 months. The story of the world’s best-selling whisky has been brought to life with flair and imagination and we have built a team which includes some of the most talented individuals in their fields. We are now ready to welcome visitors and begin telling the next chapter of how we are woven into the fabric of Scotland’s history and communities.”

Barbara SmithManaging Director of Johnnie Walker Princes Street

“Johnnie Walker Princes Street is an exceptional addition to Edinburgh’s world-class experiences, demonstrating the confidence international brands have in the capital city whilst supporting the Scottish tourism recovery. Not only that, its exploration of the ‘four corner’ distilleries as part of the attraction will no doubt inspire customers to visit those regions, extending its tourism benefits far beyond the city’s boundaries.”

Malcolm RougheadChief Executive of VisitScotland

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