Glenkinnchie Visitor Experience

Glenkinchie Distillery – submits plans to transform visitor experience

Magnus Lowland

Plans to transform the visitor experience at Glenkinchie Distillery have been formally submitted to East Lothian Council.

The Detailed Planning Application sets out proposals that will significantly expand and enhance the experience the distillery offers to tourists from around the world. The submission of formal plans follows community engagement last month as well as pre-application consultation with East Lothian Council and Historic Environment Scotland.

The plans centre around the renovation and conversion of Glenkinchie’s beautiful, traditional red brick warehouse buildings into a stunning multi-levelled visitor experience, which will include a welcome lounge, retail unit, bar and cocktail making classroom, tasting rooms and a cask draw experience.

Externally, a number of non-original buildings would be removed to allow extensive landscaping to create a beautiful welcome garden in front of the visitor experience.

The East Lothian distillery is one of a number of Diageo distilleries that will see major work undertaken as part the company’s £150m investment in Johnnie Walker and single malt scotch whisky visitor attractions around Scotland.

As part of the plan Glenkinchie will be linked to a new global visitor attraction in Edinburgh for Johnnie Walker – the world’s biggest selling Scotch whisky brand. Glenkinchie is a key part of the Johnnie Walker single malt portfolio, providing the light, floral, classic lowland style of single malt for Johnnie Walker scotch whiskies.

If planning permission is successful work would commence in 2019 with planned completion in 2020.

Ramsay Borthwick, Glenkinchie Distillery Manager, said: “This is a very significant and exciting point on our journey to transform Glenkinchie. We are all incredibly excited about the plans which will surely capture the imagination of Scotch whisky fans of all ages, tastes and experience from around the world.

“We want to celebrate the distillery’s history and combine this with a new state-of-the-art visitor experience which will not only link us to the new global Johnnie Walker visitor attraction in Edinburgh but will establish Glenkinchie as a must-see for tourists in Scotland.”

Glenkinchie Distillery has a long history of association with Johnnie Walker, with stock books from 1894 listing Glenkinchie among the single malts going into the Walker blending inventory.