Scotland’s Clynelish Distillery Becomes The Highland Home Of Johnnie Walker

By Gary Carter / May 9, 2021

The refreshed Clynelish Distillery, now also known as the Highland home of Johnnie Walker, recently opened its doors, welcoming people from across the United Kingdom, and soon from around the world, to a new Scotch whisky visitor experience. The major revamp is part of Diageo’s multi-million dollar investment into the transformation of its Scotch whisky visitor experiences, and officials said the Clynelish opening celebrates the return of whisky tourism after long-term industry wide closures.

Located on Scotland’s North Coast 500 route through the Scottish Highlands, Clynelish sports an interactive story room, modern retail space, and a new terrace bar overlooking Brora’s rolling hills. Designers looked to reimagine the traditional whisky tour and bring together the story of the distillery and the spirit, and that of the local Scottish community and its contribution to the Johnnie Walker journey, this through a multi-sensory, interactive experience.

With what’s described by the brand as secret rooms and hidden keys, each visitor will help unlock Clynelish’s unique story as they make their way through the attraction – learning about the history of Scotch whisky as they experience the story of Clynelish and Johnnie Walker.

Clynelish

The Clynelish distillery (image via Diageo)

“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,” said Barbara Smith, managing director of Diageo’s Scottish brands, in a prepared statement. “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.”

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She explained that Clynelish has “always had an air of mystery” and that the new visitor experience will take people on a journey of exploration and discovery.

“We can guarantee that Clynelish won’t disappoint. We know that visitors and locals will be blown away by the distillery … by a visitor experience that is unlike any other,” Smith said.

Diageo worked with Euan’s Guide, the disabled access charity used by thousands of disabled people to review, share and discover accessible places to visit, as part of the Clynelish redevelopment to make the brand home more accessible for visitors. The improvements include the introduction of dedicated parking bays, improved signage and a new elevator installed in the visitor center.

Clynelish is the second of the Four Corners of Johnnie Walker … which are the single malt distilleries that contribute to the best-selling Scotch whisky … to be transformed in a multi-million dollar investment in Scottish whisky tourism by owners Diageo, following the opening of Glenkinchie in October last year.

The project will also see its upgraded sister Speyside distillery, Cardhu, reopen soon as well as the opening of the new Johnnie Walker Princes Street whisky visitor experience in Edinburgh this summer.