After four and a half years in planning and construction (including, of course, Covid-enforced delays) and with a price tag of £150 million (US$208 million), Diageo has now officially opened its new Johnnie Walker Princes Street centre.
Set in the middle of the Scottish capital Edinburgh, the centre will host tours featuring personalized whiskies, exclusive tasting experiences, two rooftop bars (one covers whisky, the other cocktails), an enormous retail shop, and a terrace with stunning views of the Edinburgh Castle.
Housed in a former department store, the Johnnie Walker centre is the single largest investment ever made in Scotch whisky tourism and has already earned itself a Green TourismGold Award — the top sustainability certification for tourism sites. The building includes roof terrace planters to provide herbs for garnishes and infusions for drinks, as well as a sedum roof covering and bird boxes to encourage biodiversity.
Laid out across over 71,500 square feet, the facility is the centrepiece of Diageo’s £185million investment in scotch whisky tourism in Scotland.
“This is a proud day for everyone,” said Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes. “Johnnie Walker Princes Street is a landmark investment in scotch whisky and into Scotland and it sets a new standard for immersive visitor attractions.”
The visitor centre has taken on more than 150 employees speaking 23 languages and guests on the Journey of Flavour tour will have their personal flavour preferences mapped with drinks tailored to their palate.
The centre will open its doors to the public on 6 September. Tickets for tours start from £25 per person, including a 90-minute tour and three personalised scotch whisky samples.
For more information, go to johnniewalker.com