Drinks giant Diageo has opened Johnnie Walker Princes Street, the eight-floor new visitor experience for the world’s best-selling Scotch whisky located at the western end of the Scottish capital’s most famous street.
Johnnie Walker Princes Street is the centrepiece of Diageo’s £185 million investment in Scotch whisky tourism in Scotland – the largest single investment programme of its kind in Scotch whisky tourism.
In 2019, the Scotch Whisky industry attracted a record 2.16 million visitors and Diageo’s £185 million tourism investment programme aims to help rebuild Scotch whisky tourism for the future.
The investment includes the transformation of distillery visitor experiences around Scotland, including Glenkinchie, Clynelish, Cardhu and Caol Ila – the Lowland, Highland, Speyside and Islay homes of Johnnie Walker — linked to Johnnie Walker Princes Street to form a network of attractions throughout Scotland.
To mark the opening, a Johnnie Walker flag was raised above the landmark building by Diego CEO Ivan Menezes and Barbara Smith, managing director of Johnnie Walker Princes Street.
Menezes said: “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.”
Johnnie Walker Princes Street has two rooftop bars and a terrace with views of the Edinburgh skyline.
The building can also host events in its 200-capacity space.
Smith 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.”
Johnnie Walker Princes Street will open its doors to the public on September 6.
Tickets for tours start from £25, including a 90-minute tour and three personalised Scotch whisky samples, with all samples provided with carefully controlled measures and non-alcoholic alternatives available to all visitors.