Bulleit to open $10m visitor centreBy Nicola Carruthers
Diageo will open Bulleit Distilling Co’s US$10 million visitor centre in Kentucky next week, which “leverages modern technology” and highlights the brand’s commitment to sustainability.
The Johnnie Walker owner began construction of the visitor centre last year, which will open to the public on 25 June 2019. It will become the 17th stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
The “environmentally-conscious” 11,570-square-foot visitor centre will include interactive educational experiences, Bourbon tastings and retail space.
Bulleit will “leverage technology” to offer a “heightened” multi-sensory tasting experience featuring sensory elements like olfactory balls and a timed light-and-soundscape designed in partnership with electronics company Sonos.
Diageo has made a commitment to source 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Bulleit Distilling Co is home to the first industrial solar array in Shelby County, which is capable of collecting enough energy to run most on-site exterior lighting as well as some mobile equipment.
The brand has partnered with non-profit Oceanic Global to ensure its tasting experience and cocktail bar aligns with The Oceanic Standard (TOS), a badge and certification for venues that have adopted sustainable operating practices and are committed to eliminating single-use plastics.
Bulleit has also developed an organic cocktail garden in partnership with the University of Kentucky, which features a greenhouse that will provide ingredients and garnishes for the on-site bar.
In addition, the visitor experience buses are powered using propane to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint.
The creation of the Bulleit distillery and visitor experience has generated more than 75 jobs and represents an investment by Diageo of around US$150 million in Kentucky over the last five years.
“We wanted the Bulleit Distilling Co Visitor Experience to be reflective of our approach to flipping the script on the whiskey category by curating an immersive, personalised consumer journey steeped in design, technology and of course, our delicious family of high rye whiskeys,” said Sophie Kelly, senior vice president of whisk(e)y at Diageo North America.
“From our work with Oceanic Global to ensure we’re making sustainable, environmentally-conscious decisions, to partnering with The University of Kentucky to bring an organic garnish garden to our cocktail bar, we’re continuing to make friends on the modern frontier to help us bring consumers amazing experiences.”
Bulleit will also celebrate those who have had a “significant impact” on the brand through an interactive Frontier Gallery as part of the tour.
Katie Renshaw, the Diageo World Class 2019 US Bartender of the Year, will create the initial signature cocktails for visitors to the new Bulleit Distilling Co cocktail bar.
The visitor experience will offer guided tours with Bulleit tastings for US$20. Entry to the cocktail bar, retail shop, and access to outdoor grounds, will be free of charge.