Leading Scotch whiskey brand Johnnie Walker this month opened an experiential retail store in Madrid. The venue features a special collection of rare whiskies along with guided tastings and virtual educational experiences.
Retail offerings include unusual single malts, seasonal products and limited-edition, curated assortments that are exclusive to the store. A personalization station features unique gifts. The products will be complemented by whiskey appreciation classes, a tasting table and professionals who will provide tips on cocktail recipes and entertaining. Events will take place in an interactive hosting area.
The store also boasts virtual experiences, such as “Discover Scotland through Johnnie Walker,” which takes visitors on a tour of the four corners of the nation: the scenic Highlands, the Islands, the lush lowlands and Speyside, home to the Malt Whiskey Trail.
The new space is expected to be a destination for both experienced Scotch aficionados and novices who want to learn more about fine whiskey.
"We're always looking for new ways to surprise and engage [consumers] and this kind of experiential Johnnie Walker flagship store does just that,” said global brand director John Williams. “It also adds a sense of fun and discovery to shopping and is a whole new way of experiencing the diversity and rich heritage of Johnnie Walker."
Launch of the Madrid store follows parent Diageo’s announcement last April to invest $169 million in Scotch tourism throughout Scotland. Additional plans include opening a new state-of-the-art Johnnie Walker visitor experience in Edinburgh.
According to the Scotch Whisky Association, Scotch whiskey tourism drew record numbers of visitors in 2017, with 1.9 million people traveling to distilleries from the U.K. and elsewhere.
Worldwide, the whiskey market is expected to reach $7.40 billion by 2023, according to Mordor Intelligence. Johnnie Walker sells 18 million cases annually.