As you probably already know (or might assume), whisky is the national drink of Scotland so whether you are exploring the Highlands, Glasgow, or Edinburgh you will have ample opportunities to try some locally distilled whisky and check it off of your UK bucket list!
And yes, for those of you wondering, the spelling of whisky without the e is correct for whisky that is distilled in Ireland, Scotland, and Japan. Only Irish whisky is different in the sense of how the beverage is created because it goes through a triple distilling process before it is aged.
In central Edinburgh, you will find several different whisky tours that you can join but my fiance and I chose to book the Johnnie Walker Journey of Flavour Tour so that is what I will be reviewing today! You can expect to find out everything you need to know before booking including the cost, tour duration, tour experience, and what type of person would best enjoy this tour!
Personally for us, this tour was one of our top highlights during our 3 days in Edinburgh! So let’s get into the review!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
Who is Johnnie Walker?
I don’t want to spoil your tour experience so in short, Johnnie Walker came from a humble beginning running a modest grocery store in Edinburgh. It was his curiosity and passion for flavors that eventually led to him creating a whisky so well-loved that it led to it becoming the internationally sold brand that it is today.
Where is the Johnnie Walker Journey of Flavour Tour Located?
You can easily find the 8-story Johnnie Walker building at 145 Princes Street in central Edinburgh. This location is one of the busiest areas in all of Edinburgh so you won’t miss finding it even if you tried!
How long does the Journey of Flavour Tour Cost?
This particular tour is a really great price at just 30 GBR per adult! Nowadays, a tour of this quality is hard to find for such a low price. This was definitely one of the biggest selling points for us when were deciding on which whisky tour to go with.
How Long Does the Tour Last For?
From start to finish the tour runs for around 90 minutes. Right as the tour came to an end I felt like the tour had almost gone for longer than 90 minutes (in a good way). I think this is because there was so much information being shared and we were taken to many different rooms that had sensory experiences, visuals, and tastings.
Nothing felt rushed or boring and we were never in one place longer than we needed to be except at the end when we got to relax and sip on our final cocktails. This kept both of us completely immersed in what was happening to where we didn’t even think about how long we had been there. I was enjoying the tour so much that I wanted it to keep going!
Who is the Johnnie Walker Journey of Flavour Tour For?
Ideally, this tour is best suited for those who already love Johnnie Walker whisky or want to try it and learn about the history of the brand. It’s also an awesome choice for the person who can’t stand drinking whisky plain (me!). The featured drink on this tour is a Whisky Highball which will be uniquely created for you based on the results of your flavor quiz.
If you are strictly a whisky neat or on the rocks type of person this tour would not be the best choice for you because the featured drink of the tour is a whisky highball cocktail. However, out of the 3 drinks included in the tour, your final two offered at the bar can be straight Johnnie Walker. This is a nice compromise if you happen to be going with someone else who doesn’t enjoy whisky on its own.
What is the Journey of Flavor Experience Like?
Before you arrive in person for the tour your confirmation email will tell you to fill out your flavor profile quiz which will be used during a portion of the tour for your drinks. If you forget to fill this questionnaire out you can also do this in person, just be sure to arrive 15 minutes before your tour is scheduled to begin. I ended up getting the result of green which represented fresh flavors.
History of Johnnie Walker
Our tour started off with us meeting our guide and being led to the first room where she told us the story of Johnnie Walker with various costumes. The stage had moving elements and visuals that really enhanced her storytelling and acting (even though she was very enthusiastic!). This lasted around 15 minutes or so but it was packed with so much information that I really felt connected to Johnnie Walker’s life once it finished.
Whisky Exploration + Tastings
The next room is where our group learned about the different whisky styles, flavors, and production processes. The lights and animations were really captivating and well done here! Again, the way the information was presented made it super easy to follow along without getting bored.
From here it was time for our first drink! In the drink creation room, each one of us was instructed to find the matching colored glass to our wristbands from our flavor quiz that we got at the beginning of our tour.
By simply placing my colored glass underneath the cocktail machines it knew how to create the highball flavor that was best suited for me! It was really cool to watch it work.
The table had compartments with lots of different garnishes and there was a card I could look at to grab the garnishes that matched my highball flavor. This was super fun!
The final segment of the information part of the tour landed us in yet another room with amazing multimedia! Here the focus was on how whiskies can take on different flavors depending on the ingredients used, which regions the ingredients are from, and why this matters.
There was a unique sensory element here where were able to smell the different flavor profiles that make up the different Johnnie Walker whiskies.
Final two drinks at the bar
At this point, the informational part of the tour was over and, it was time to enjoy our last two drinks from a skilled bartender who was waiting for us!
We no longer had to follow the drink recommendation that matched our bracelet and could try any of the cocktails from the rest of the menu, request an off-menu whisky-based cocktail, or keep it simple and get a whisky neat or on the rocks. This is when I realized that the inclusions of the tour had exceeded the booking cost.
Before leaving, our group was invited to check out the gift shop where we could shop all of the Johnnie Walker whisky varieties, merchandise, and souvenirs.
My fiance ended up buying the limited edition Fall Harvest blend that could only be purchased in person from the Johnnie Walker store! In doing so he got to sign his name down in the official Johnnie Walker history books!
Is the Johnnie Walker Journey of Flavour Tour Worth it?
If you are loyal to Johnnie Walker or are looking for an affordable whisky tour in Edinburgh then yes, the Journey of Flavour Tour is worth booking!
I would also highly recommend this tour for those who are new to whisky because the highball cocktails are a great way to ease your way into whisky!
The value of money on this tour is hard to beat at just 30 GBP for a 90-minute complete sensory experience! Plus, getting to the Johnnie Walker building is super easy no matter where you are staying in Edinburgh.
If you are ready to book your tour experience you can easily do so online in advance here!
Other Whisky Tours in Edinburgh to Consider
Is the Journey of Flavour Tour not the one for you? Check out these other popular Edinburgh whisky tours instead!
Intro to Whisky in Old Town Edinburgh – From the heart of Edinburgh, this 90-minute tour will teach you all about the history of whisky in Scotland and you’ll have the option to book based on how familiar you are with whisky! The intro to whisky costs just 35 GBP but you can also upgrade to the intermediate whisky tour (4 drams of rarer, older, and more unusual whiskies) which costs 49 GBP, or the high-end whisky tour (5 drams of top-shelf whisky) which costs 79 GBP.
Ultimate Whisky Experience from Edinburgh – If you want to get out of the city and sip whisky in the countryside this tour is the option for you! This tour heads 2-hours north to Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery in the highlands where you will spend 2-hours touring the entire facility and sampling a 12-year-old single malt whisky. Then finish the day off with lunch in the village of Aberfeldy and a 1-hour distillery tour and tasting at Glenturret Distillery. This experience costs 47 GBP and lasts 10 hours so while it is a long day it comes highly recommended.
Small Group Edinburgh Whisky Tour and Tasting – For just 38 GBP this tour will take you to all of the best places to drink whisky in the city while learning about the regions they come from! One of the highlights of this tour is a candlelight tasting at Megget’s Cellar. There is also a little bit of sightseeing that is done in between destinations!
3-Day Speyside Whisky Tour – Departing from Edinburgh, this tour is the ULTIMATE whisky tour for whisky connoisseurs! You will explore Speyside which is one of Scotland’s main whisky-producing regions! For just 546 GBP per person, you get admission to 5 distilleries, 2 nights stay in private facilities that include breakfast, and round-trip transportation from Edinburgh. On the way back to Edinburgh there is a stop at Cairngorms National Park to enjoy the beautiful nature. This tour is limited to 16 people so it will not be overwhelming.
Final Word on the Johnnie Walker Journey of Flavour Whisky Tour
Thanks for reading my review of the Journey of Flavour Tour. It was such an informative and fun experience and I hope you have just as enjoyable of a time as we did if you decide to do it!
If you’re traveling around Scotland or the rest of the UK I have listed other related guides for you down below!