Attractions industry news

24 May 2021

Johnnie Walker visitor centre, designed by BRC, opens at Clynelish distillery

The Clynelish Distillery has opened the doors to a new visitor experience near Brora, in the Scottish Highlands.

The new "Highland Home of Johnnie Walker" centre has been designed by US-based experience design studio, BRC Imagination Arts, and is offers an interactive, multi-sensory experience.

Guests will be able to access secret rooms and discover hidden keys, in order unlock and explore elements of the Clynelish's rich history.

The visitor centre will recount the distillery's heritage and will also offer an insight into the lives of the local people and their culture, as well as chart the significance of the surrounding landscape to Clynelish's story.

There is also a modernised retail space and redesigned bar, which guests can utilise during their visits and tours.

The site’s renovation was first announced in 2019 and is part of a wider £185m investment in visitor facilities by drinks giant Diageo, which owns the Clynelish brand.

Clynelish is the second of the ‘four corners of Johnnie Walker’ project, which groups the quartet of distilleries whose whisky is used to create the blended Johnnie Walker brand.

The reopening of Clynelish follows the launch of a visitor centre in Glenkinchie in October 2020 and comes ahead of the openings of the Speyside distillery Cardhu and the new Johnnie Walker Princes Street visitor experience in Edinburgh.

Barbara Smith, managing director of Diageo’s Scottish brand homes, said: “We are delighted to be able to open the doors to Clynelish and celebrate the return of whisky tourism as we begin our phased return to life pre-Covid.

“We have always had an international audience and it will be incredibly exciting to see people from all over the world walking through our doors once again when global travel permits and it’s safe to do so.

“Clynelish has always had an air of mystery. Its flavour is completely unexpected, with tropical notes, citrus and the unmistakable waxy finish.

“It is not what you’d expect from a Highland distillery and the new visitor experience will take people on a journey of exploration and discovery. We can guarantee that Clynelish won’t disappoint.”

Diageo operates 28 malt distilleries in Scotland, accounting for nearly one-third of the industry’s total capacity.

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