Diageo has opened the second Johnnie Walker House in Beijing in January 2013, which claims to be the world’s largest luxury whisky club outside of Scotland. The first of the Johnnie Walker House in China was opened in Shanghai in May 2011, which resulted in sales of super-deluxe Johnnie Walker whisky in China increase by 64% year-on-year. This included Johnnie Walker Blue Label whose sales grew 45% over the same period. Confident with such success, and assured by the booming luxury market in China, Diageo launched the £1.8 million Johnnie Walker House in Beijing, which goes the extra mile to make the ultra-affluent Chinese consumer feel very special.
The four-level exclusive members club, which also operates as a bar, museum and retail outlet is located at the prestigious Ch’ien Men 23, close to the Southeast corner of Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing. Some of the finest whiskies in the world are available for patrons to sample and purchase. The Johnnie Walker Epic dates collection, which retails for £2,250 and the due-to-be-launched Master Blender Series collection of whiskies ages at least 30 years are available here. For an entry price of £80,000 patrons can work with the Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge to create a personalized blend. Jim Beveridge maintains a personal collection of his favourite whiskies in the House for use in creating these bespoke blends.
For the high exclusivity quotient, the membership of the Johnnie Walker House Beijing will be for a total of 200 by-invitation only members. These high profile members will have access to members-only whisky vaults, signature blends and private “whisky-inspired” dining from the brand’s in-house chef. Besides, there will be an exclusive concierge service and relationship managers will know the preferences of each member in order to ensure the whisky experience is as personal as possible.
The concierge service will enable the elite members to arrange trips to Scotland, where they will have access to private distilleries and whisky collections, and can sample some of the rarest and oldest whiskies in the world, as well as stay in private castles and enjoy access to members-only golf courses. Other added benefits for these elite members are their personal tailor-made cabinets with special keys to store their own glasses and bottles of whiskies for use at their convenience. Exclusive consumers can create their own bespoke blends starting at $126,470.
The House is designed to recreate for its consumers in Beijing the Scottish history and culture of Johnnie Walker, and the downstairs Distillery bar features over 10,000 copper pipes to simulate a working distillery.