It’s a magical world where Diageo presents its rarest coveted malts and it is quite simply, a wonderland for the whisky connoisseur. Indeed, the Johnnie Walker House offers a unique retail and hospitality experience that few others can offer and in May 2016, Diageo added Singapore into its expanding network of “luxury Scotch whisky embassies”. It is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.
Johnnie Walker House Singapore is located within the Diageo office along One George Street. It is conveniently located in downtown Singapore, but its access is limited only to invited guests and the network of clients that Diageo has built up over the years.
For those of you who are into such things, the interiors are designed by Chris Lee, who heads Singapore-based design firm Asylum. Chris has also designed Johnnie Walker houses in Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul. The palette of bronze, gold and dark brown gives the place a classy and sophisticated gentlemen’s room vibe.
If you have the chance to be invited to the Johnnie Walker House, you’ll be given a comprehensive education, conducted by experts, on the brands under the global spirits group. You’ll also be treated to expressions that are rarely found anywhere else.
Cask & Drams was invited to a media preview of the new Johnnie Walker House in Singapore and we had the chance to savour the John Walker and Sons Private Collection 2014, 2015 and 2016 Editions. Although, we were eyeing that opened bottle of Port Ellen in the corner of the room.
On top if it being a showcase and museum for everything Diageo, the Johnnie Walker House is a place for business.
Well-heeled connoisseurs will get the chance to buy rare blends as well as expressions from discontinued distilleries such as Port Ellen, Brora and Rosebank. You can even get Master Blender Dr Jim Beveridge to create a bespoke blend for you under the John Walker & Sons Signature Blend programme.
But what’s more interesting, to us at least, is the Casks of Distinction programme.
Diageo owns about eight million casks from 28 operating and 11 closed malt distilleries. So most definitely, they can pick out some pretty significant ones from their massive inventory.
Every year, Diageo releases some of these Casks of Distinction for sale to private clients. As cask owners, you can also choose to visit the distillery and have a chat with the master distiller on when’s the optimal time to bottle your cask.
These casks are sold on a first-come-first-served basis. But essentially, James Mackay, Diageo’s Head of Prestige Sales, and his team will invite clients whom they think will like the notes of the whiskies in the casks on offer and most importantly, have the budget for the purchase.
So it’s time to put on your networking hat and get to know some folks from Diageo if you’re really keen to visit the Johnnie Walker House or purchase the rare malts as well as Casks of Distinction.
Meanwhile, check out their website, www.johnniewalkerhouse.com.