Lowland malt distillery Glenkinchie, an important component in Johnnie Walker blended Scotch, has just been granted planning permission for a new visitor centre.

Located just over 15 miles from Edinburgh, Glenkinchie is one of very few Lowland malt whisky distilleries. Being so close to the capital means that the distillery has huge potential as a tourist attraction, something that Diageo is now looking to build upon. We have just received news that East Lothian Council has granted permission for development work on the distillery.

There has been a distillery on the site since 1837, but the current Glenkinchie set-up dates back to 1890. As part of Diageo’s plans, its Victorian red brick warehouse will become a new all-singing, all-dancing visitor experience which including a shop, a bar, a cocktail classroom, and tastings rooms. The new visitor centre will also show off Glenkinchie’s unique asset, a scale model of the distillery built for the 1925 Empire Exhibition (watch this short film to see the model in all is magnificence.) Work will begin on the expansion early next year.

Distillery manager Ramsay Borthwick said: “We would like to thank East Lothian Council and all our neighbours for their support with this development. This is not only a major project for Glenkinchie Distillery, it will enhance the whole economy of East Lothian, attracting more visitors to the area.”

Diageo is going on something of a spending spree at the moment, with the revival of Brora and Port Ellen distilleries, and a new Johnnie Walker experience planned in Edinburgh.

Glenkinchie has been linked with Johnnie Walker since 1894, providing a sweet, light Lowland malt flavour to the blend.The renovated Glenkinchie Distillery will be linked with the new Johnnie Walker experience as one of the ‘four corners of Scotland’ in the recipe along with Cardhu in Speyside, Caol Ila on Islay and Clynelish in the Highlands. Sounds like a visit to all five will be in order when they are completed.