Diageo to invest £150m in Scotch whisky visitor experiences

A Johnnie Walker immersive visitor experience is coming to Edinburgh as part of a £150m ($215m) investment by alcoholic drinks producer Diageo to transform its Scotch whisky visitor experiences.

The investment, being made over a three-year period, will also be used to upgrade the existing network of 12 Diageo whisky distillery visitor centres.

The centre-piece of the investment will be a new state-of-the-art Johnnie Walker immersive visitor experience based in Edinburgh, bringing to life the story of the world’s most popular Scotch whisky.

A map of Scotland showing the location of Diageo Scotch whiskey distilleries.

A map of Scotland showing the location of Diageo Scotch whiskey distilleries.

Four distilleries – Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Clynelish – will be linked to the Johnnie Walker venue in Edinburgh, representing the “four corners of Scotland” and their regional flavour variations.

Diageo chose Edinburgh as the preferred location for the Johnnie Walker investment because of the capital’s particularly strong tourism growth, with the city already being home to some of the most popular visitor attractions in the UK.

The company’s other famous visitor distilleries – Lagavulin, Talisker, Glen Ord, Oban, Dalwhinnie, Blair Athol, Cragganmore and Royal Lochnagar – will also receive investment to support the growth of single malt Scotch whisky.

Diageo has already committed £35m ($50m) re-open the “lost distilleries” of Port Ellenand Brora, taking Diageo’s network of distilleries with specialist visitor experiences in Scotland to 14.

Artist impression of the improved Glenkinchie distillery visitor experience.

Artist impression of the improved Glenkinchie distillery visitor experience.

Ivan Menezes, CEO of Diageo, said: “Scotch is at the heart of Diageo and this new investment reinforces our ongoing commitment to growing our Scotch whisky brands and supporting Scotland’s tourism industry.

“For decades to come our distilleries will play a big role in attracting more international visitors to Scotland. I am also delighted we will be able to bring our knowledge and expertise to help the next generation, through mentor programmes and skills training.”

Artist impression of the improved Caol Ila distillery visitor experience.

Artist impression of the improved Caol Ila distillery visitor experience.

Images: c. Diageo.