Earlier this year, the first Johnnie Walker House outside Scotland opened in a hot nightspot district in Shanghai, China. The three-story restored house in Sinan Mansions offers entry to local trendsetters, celebrities and ultra-rich businessmen. As greater whiskey consumption in the country has led to an increased desire for information, the brand has targeted these people to educate them about the product in a luxury environment and hopefully boost its sales.
Whiskey is relatively new to wealthy Chinese but its popularity is growing fast. Those invited to the Johnnie Walker House are given a unique chance to learn about Scotch whiskey. The ground floor features a scale model of a Scottish distillery and educates visitors about the raw materials of barley, water and peat. The middle floor has an interactive blending table, where people can sample dozens of different types of single malt whiskey and learn about the aromatic and tasting notes. The top floor is home to a sleek bar for relaxing and enjoying a glass of Johnnie Walker whiskey. Lawrence Law, the brand’s director for engagement marketing in China, said on marketing affairs show Thoughtful China:
We want to build a Scotch whiskey culture in China, [particularly among] stylish, progressive, sophisticated entrepreneurs…We look at what we call creating the new Chinese gentlemen. You can’t just know wines, cognacs and Baijiu now. Knowing whiskey is important too.