Whiskey lovers can assemble their own versions of the drink from 800 possible combinations of ingredients at Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh.
The century-old brand Johnnie Walker inaugurated, at the beginning of September, a space entirely dedicated to whiskey in Edinburgh, capital of Scotland. Johnnie Walker Princes Street is a kind of museum that tells the story of the best-selling Scotch whiskey in the world and allows visitors to follow its entire manufacturing process.
Located in a beautiful building, the Johnnie Walker Museum takes up eight floors, with environments that provide diverse experiences, including a flavor creation laboratory to a restaurant with panoramic views of the historic city center and Edinburgh Castle.
It is an incredible place to visit, both for whiskey lovers and for those who are not so fond of the drink, but enjoy historical and cultural tourism. This is because in telling the story of the brand, which completed 200 years in 2020, the whiskey museum also talks about the history of Scotland itself and its development over the years.
In 2019 alone, the country received around two million tourists who traveled there attracted by the whiskey culture. The space created by the Johnnie Walker brand was the biggest investment ever made in Scotch whiskey tourism and cost around 150 million pounds – more than 1 billion reais.
The whiskey museum's location is prime, right in the heart of the Scottish capital, in a beautiful building that once housed a department store for nearly a hundred years. In total, the space dedicated to the drink occupies six thousand square meters spread over eight floors. There is an area dedicated especially to the history of the drink, a composition laboratory, a cellar, a shop, some bars, a restaurant and a terrace with an incredible view.
But the Johnnie WalkerPrincesStreet goes far beyond just a whiskey museum. The place was created and designed to offer sensory experiences to visitors who, in addition to knowing the history of the drink, can taste and, the coolest thing, create their own versions of it.
The visit to the space is always guided and lasts about 90 minutes, including live performances and three personalized drinks made with Scotch whisky. Tickets start at £25 (around R$ 189) per person. The other attractions that we will talk about later are charged separately.
The guided tour shows how whiskey is prepared and aged in barrels. Then, visitors are taken to a kind of laboratory where they can create three versions of the drink from 800 possible combinations of ingredients.
In addition, the Johnnie Walker Museum organizes tastings of the brand's formulas that are already famous. However, depending on the whiskey you choose to taste, you will have to pay a higher amount. For example, to taste the prestigious Black Label, in addition to the paid entrance fee to enter the museum, you will have to shell out an additional £35 (about R$ 256).
For those who are more passionate about the drink, the visit to Johnnie Walker Princes Street can be extended to the cellar, where it is possible to taste whiskey taken directly from the barrels. The value of that experience, however, is £95 (about R$ 710).
The space will also have a store – scheduled to open by the end of the year – on the ground floor. In it, visitors will be able to choose between 150 types of Scotch whiskey and, also, which bottle model they will take the drink home. It does not stop there. The Johnnie Walker store will offer a personalization service for the packaging, with the engraving of the initials on the glass or the full name on the label.
The flavors of the Johnnie Walker Museum
In addition to allowing visitors to try the drink during the guided tour, Johnnie Walker Princes Street has two special bars located on its terrace. Therefore, it is worth taking the time to taste the other flavors that the space can offer. In fact, the view from the terrace is breathtaking and shows the entire historic center of the Scottish capital and the beautiful Edinburgh Castle.
Here, you'll find Explorers' Bothy, which has more than 150 Scotch whiskey labels, and 1820, which specializes in cocktails, which are served alongside a menu with flavors from various parts of Scotland. The rooftop also has herb plantations for garnishes and infusions in drinks, and a green roof, covered with plants and bird feeders.
Take the opportunity to discover Edinburgh
The journey to discover the Johnnie WalkerPrincesStreet can be accompanied by a visit to the main tourist attractions of Edinburgh. The Scottish capital is an incredible city, rich in culture, history and beautiful landscapes.
There you will find medieval buildings with neoclassical architecture, several museums and many options of restaurants and bars that are real tourist attractions, such as, for example, The Elephant House cafeteria, which became popular among Harry Potter fans, as it was a of the places that inspired its author, JK Rowling.
The most important – and also beautiful – historic buildings are: Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, Mr Giles Cathedral and Grassmarket.
Among the museums and galleries, the National Museum of Scotland, the National Gallery of Scotland, The Royal Scottish Academy, Camera Obscura and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.
It is worth strolling through the streets of the Scottish capital which, in addition to revealing the medieval buildings, are beautiful. So when traveling to Edinburgh, don't miss the Old Town, the Royal Mine, Mary King's Close and Princess Street. The city also has beautiful green areas, including the Edinburgh Botanical Garden and the Water of Leith, one of the most important rivers in the Scottish capital, which is bordered by a graceful village.
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