Johnnie Walker Princes Street reveals opening dateBy Kate Malczewski
Diageo is set to open the doors to its flagship Johnnie Walker visitor centre in Edinburgh next month.
The Johnnie Walker Princes Street whisky experience will be unveiled to the public on 6 September. It was scheduled to launch last year, but construction was delayed due to the pandemic.
“Over the past year we have faced unprecedented challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic but now we can finally start the countdown to the opening of Johnnie Walker Princes Street,” Barbara Smith, managing director of Diageo’s Scotland brand homes, said.
Covering 71,500 square feet across eight floors, the new visitor centre promises to lead guests on an immersive experience through the history of the 200-year-old blended Scotch brand and the wider Scotch whisky category.
The site features several drinking and dining options, including a rooftop bar and restaurant with views of Edinburgh Castle, as well as an experiential whisky department store retailing exclusive Johnnie Walker expressions and merchandise.
Smith continued: “We have built an incredibly talented and diverse team who will bring the Johnnie Walker story to life, creating a world-class experience for our guests.
“Johnnie Walker Princes Street will offer something unlike any other visitor experience in Scotland. It will be a venue for everyone, whether that’s visitors to Scotland or local people in Edinburgh, Scotch whisky lovers or those savouring Scotch whisky for the first time. We can’t wait for you to join us.”
In keeping with Covid-19 guidelines, the visitor centre will operate with a one-way system, extra cleaning and hygiene measures, physical distancing and hand sanitiser stations. The store will operate at reduced capacity, and attendees will be required to wear face masks.
Tickets for Johnnie Walker Princes Street tours start at £25 (US$35) and are now available at johnniewalker.com. Guests can visit the bars and department store without a ticket.
Diageo first announced its plans to build the Princes Street visitor centre in April 2018 as part of a £150 million (US$209m) investment in Scotch whisky tourism – a figure that was later upped to £185m (US$257m). The funding was also used to build new visitor centres at Speyside distillery Cardhu, Lowland distillery Glenkinchie and Highland distillery Clynelish.
Earlier this year, the spirits giant reopened the ‘silent’ Brora distillery after extensive restoration.