For full disclosure I have previously taken part in press invites and experiences at Johnnie Walker Princes Street. All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own.
This was my first time doing the full Journey of Flavour tour at Johnnie Walker Princes Street and don’t worry I won’t include too many spoilers of the tour as I’m sure there’s many of you who want to experience it in person. And I would highly recommend it. But this is no tartan, old-fashioned or whisky-can-only-be-served-neat kind of experience, but instead one that celebrates flavour and acts like a mix of bar, memorabilia museum and modern entertainment. I really enjoyed it and will be bringing many friends here when they come to visit because it offers something for everyone. During the Journey of Flavour tour you get the opportunity to try three different drinks: one highball and two of your choice – be it more highballs, old fashioned’s or a neat dram. Ahead of the tour you do an online quiz which gives you a flavour category. When you arrive you get a wristband which correlates to that same colour and this will also decide the character of your first highball. When it comes to your second two choices however you are free to choose highballs and old fashioned’s whichever category you want. It’s also a brilliant opportunity to try their seasonal blend in case you’re after a venue-exclusive souvenir in the shop.
The tour also includes a little show when an actor takes your through the journey of the Johnnie Walker brand – from the grocer in Kilmarnock to being the best-selling scotch whisky that it is today. continuously you also learn about how the different expressions are made, the four corners of Scotland and the distilleries they focus on.
During the Journey of Flavour tour you get the opportunity to try three different drinks. First up is a highball that matches the flavour profile you got when completing the quiz before your tour. For me, this was a fruity highball with a dried orange slice garnish. The highball machines simply recognises the coloured glasses and pours you the perfect serve that you get to enjoy. This drink you can bring with you throughout the next two rooms and there’s shelves where you can leave the glass once finished. The final two drinks you get at the bar in the last room. Here you have a menu of highballs and old fashioned’s created for each of the flavour categories as well as neat drams that you can choose from as you wish.
I would recommend the Fresh Highball, Tropical Old Fashioned and Creamy Highball as they were my favourites last time!
The main complaint I’ve heard from friends who have done the tour is that they felt rushed finishing their drinks in the last room but the pacing felt perfect for our group. However I can see how this could potentially be the problem with larger groups or if a lot of people ask questions so that pouring the drinks take longer, so perhaps something to just be mindful of if you are booking a tour at peak times.
The Johnnie Walker Princes Street Rooftop Bar
Following the tour you might want to head up to the rooftop bar for some cocktails. I can’t believe I still haven’t been here during daytime but the view is stunning as it overlooks the castle and all of Princes Street. Although I would try and book in advance as they are sometimes very busy up here.
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