On an extremely grey June day, The Whisky Shop team headed to Edinburgh to attend the capital city's premier whisky attraction: The Johnnie Walker Journey of Flavour Experience. Located within Johnnie Walker Princes Street, their flagship store, rooftop bar, immersive tasting space and all-around brand hub, the signature tour promises to 'go beyond expectations'. Lets see if it did.


Alan and Luke choose their flavour profile wristband.

On arrival to the sleek waiting area, guests are invited to take the Journey of Flavour quiz to determine the colour of their wristband, which corresponds your preferred flavour profile. After declaring my opinion on divisive foods, such as rosemary and ginger, I was given 'Fruity' - a pink wristband. The rest of the team received 'Tropical', 'Fresh' and 'Creamy' profiles. As we'll come to learn, this not only serves as a cute souvenir, but curates the entire experience to our own tastes.


Xian details Johnnie Walker 18 Year Old.

We are then introduced to our tour guide for the experience, Xian, who tells that he is on a grand mission to visit every whisky distillery in Scotland - a huge clue to his clear passion for Scotch which he shares with us throughout our time with him.

Although we needn't be, here we are reminded of Johnnie Walker's global influence, evident in itself by the diverse group currently in the room. After each nationality reveals itself, in our group we had guests from the USA, Canada, Ireland and Austria, Xian details the history of Johnnie Walker within each country - a nice touch that connects the group to where we are.

Crucially, he asks us to put aside all of our preconceptions about whisky and those who drink it, and any perceived rules about how it should be drank. 'The right way to enjoy whisky is however you enjoy it.'


John Walker would fit right in.

The first room which we enter takes us back in time to John Walker's living room, where we meet Alice, who appears to be relaxing, reading and sipping on a dram. Though, she soon bursts into a flashy performance taking us through the history of Johnnie Walker, from the founder's Kilmarnock beginnings to the dominance of the whisky on the silver screen. All of this, to encapsulate their motto of 'Keep Walking', is undertaken on a constantly moving treadmill. By the end, Alice embodies the iconic 'Walking Man' logo.


Where can I buy a whisky & soda machine?

After learning how Johnnie Walker's blending recipe was tasty enough to withstand the many challenges presented through its 200-year history, here we are granted our first taste in highball form. Our wristband colour corresponds to a particular whisky and garnishes, and the machine 'magically' knows which dram to pour in our colour-coded glass.

Which garnish to choose?

Those deemed to have a more sophisticated palate (Creamy) are treated to Johnnie Walker 18 Year Old, however I myself, with my Fruity label, was given Johnnie Walker Black Label. Regardless, my highball was remarkably refreshing - unlocking the more delicate flavours within the whisky with soda water and an orange slice.

A super slick whirlwind whisking you through the Johnnie Walker story; with the visit to a modern version of his Grocery store to sample a refreshing highball matching my tropical flavour profile a real highlight.

Danny - Head of E-Commerce

It's a pleasant and welcoming introduction to Johnnie Walker for those who haven't tried it before, especially as, during this, Xian chats to us about the key flavours within each of the Johnnie Walker core range. However, suddenly there is a loud thunder crash and rain, which prompts us to continue our tour - our drinks can come with though, thank goodness!


Discover the flavours in each dram

The next two rooms give us insight into how single malt whisky is made, and how Johnnie Walker is blended with the distilleries in Diageo's portfolio. These are the most impressive rooms of the tour, with fabulous light shows, smelly bubbles (discover for yourself) and other thoughtful touches. Many of our favourite parts of the experience were the smaller moments such as this: photography tricks, whisky relics, soundscapes and other sensory surprises.

All of the single malts which make up Johnnie Walker.

Here we discover the signature flavours of each whisky which goes into a Johnnie Walker blend. In short, Glenkinchie brings floral notes, Caol Ila brings the smoke, Cardhu brings a syrupy sweetness and Clynelish brings waxy honey, however the visual representation of each minor note in the four distilleries' liquid is extremely satisfying to see. If you decide to take the tour, your guide offers to take your picture together in this room, and you should definitely accept the offer.



To round off the tour, Xian takes us to the Johnnie Walker bar to sample more whisky. From a menu of highballs, old fashioneds and neat drams, we can choose a drink which corresponds to our wristband flavour profile or pick whatever tickles our fancy. I opted for a Fruity Old Fashioned, made with apricot, and a dram of Johnnie Walker X Harris Tweed. This is the perfect time to get chatting to fellow Johnnie Walker fans on the tour, and to ask the tour guide any final questions - now with some liquid courage!

The brand home of the world's most famous blend has an exclusive bottling that lives up to the Johnnie Walker legacy and is a perfect fit for the beautiful location on the iconic Princes Street. Their Princes Street Exclusive Summer 2024 edition is July in a glass, bursting with floral notes, honey and with the creamy texture and flavour of a lemon posset.

Luke - W Club Manager
The fruity Old Fashioned was lit.

The Spicy Old Fashioned was the perfect way to round off the tour. Notes of orange and ginger were dominant, with sugar and bitters complimenting a well-balanced drink.

Alan - Digital Marketing, SEO & PPC Manager


Always busy, take home a bottle from the Johnnie Walker Princes Street store.

Finally, we exit through the gift shop. However, as is not usually the case with many a gift shop, you can take away the real thing! Their flagship store carries almost every single bottle of Johnnie Walker in existence, including their many collaborations and even some Princes Street exclusive bottles. It would be easy to spend as much time here as the tour itself.


The castle feels within touching distance.

And that's that! If you're thirsty for more like us, however, the 1820 rooftop bar can be pre-booked for more expertly curated cocktails and 10% off your bill with your wristband. With incredible views of Edinburgh Castle, visible from both the inside and outdoor seating areas (important with the infamous Scottish weather), drinking in their stylish space is a truly luxurious way to spend an afternoon.

In the rooftop bar I enjoyed a glass of Johnnie's Jungle Bird - deliciously fruity, refreshing, and nothing like any whisky cocktail I've had before! Savoured alongside terrific views of Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street stretching out towards Calton Hill in the East.

Joe - Digital Analyst


When in Edinburgh! We chose to sample some more eateries and drinkeries whilst in Scotland's bustling capital. Here are our recommendations for more fun to take you well into the evening.


Located nearby on St Andrews Square, Dishoom offers Bombay comfort food and first-class drinks all day. If your choosing between starters, order the Pau Bhaji for a taste of heaven.

Cafe Royal

An ornate Victorian pub slash oyster bar, choose Cafe Royal for their extensive collection of Scotch whisky and locally-brewed ales.

Hoot the Redeemer

The eclectic sister bar to the acclaimed Panda & Son's, head to the lower levels for Hoot the Redeemer. A basement haunt with tarot inspired cocktails, expect unique and off-beat drinks and décor.

Learn how to make your own summery Johnnie Walker cocktails, here.

Discover Johnnie Walkers entire range, here.