The eagerly awaited eight-floor visitor experience, which is located in the former House of Fraser building on the capital’s Princes Street, will take visitors on an immersive journey through the whisky brand’s 200-year old history.
Four and a half years in the making, Johnnie Walker Princes Street is the flagship centrepiece of Diageo’s £185 million pound investment in whisky tourism in Scotland.
The exciting new attraction will feature rooftop bars, private dining areas, live performance areas and modern sensory tasting rooms, alongside tours and tasting experiences.
To mark the opening, a Johnnie Walker flag was raised above the landmark building by Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive of Diageo, and Barbara Smith, Managing Director of Johnnie Walker Princes Street.
Speaking about the launch, Mr Menezes stated that it was a proud day for everyone.
He said: “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.”
Offering two incredible 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 the four corners of Scotland.
The attraction will also feature the innovative Johnnie Walker Journey of Flavour tour, which will see visitors have their personal flavour preferences mapped with drinks tailored to their palate.
There is also 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.
As well as being a hub of sustainability, with terrace planters to provide herbs for garnishes and infusions for drinks, and a sedum roof covering and bird boxes to encourage biodiversity, the attraction has also created around 150 new jobs.
Barbara Smith, managing director of Johnnie Walker Princes Street, stated that they are also committed to contributing to the local community by offering an award-winning hospitality training programme for unemployed people in its special Johnnie Walker Learning for Life academy.
She said: “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.”
Ms Smith added that they hope the new attraction can build on the record 2.16 million visitors to the Scotch Whisky industry in 2019.
Chief Executive ofVisitScotland Malcolm Roughead said: “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.”