One of the world's largest producers of spirits and beers, Diageo has announced a phased reopening of its Scotch whisky brand home tourist attractions with comprehensive new measures to build community and visitor confidence.
The company’s network of 12 Scotch whisky distillery brand homes across Scotland have been closed throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, and now in line with Scottish Government guidance Diageo plans to gradually begin welcoming back visitors.
Kicking off this week, Blair Athol Distillery and Oban Distillery reopen followed by:
3 August - Cardhu Distillery, Dalwhinnie Distillery, Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery and Royal Lochnagar Distillery reopen retail spaces and limited whisky masterclasses
10 August: Cardhu Distillery, Dalwhinnie Distillery, Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery and Royal Lochnagar Distillery reopen full distillery visitor experience or tours.
Caol Ila Distillery and Lagavulin Distillery on Islay and Talisker Distillery on the Isle of Skye is set to open later in August, depending on local circumstances in these island communities. Cragganmore Distillery in Speyside will also open at a later date.
Diageo’s final two brand homes at Glenkinchie Distillery and Clynelish Distillery are currently under major refurbishment as part of the company’s investment in whisky tourism. They will remain closed until the construction projects are complete later this year.
The distilleries will go beyond compliance with all relevant guidelines to build the confidence of staff, visitors and communities, including mandatory temperature checks for all visitors, limiting the number of visitors on site, screens in all retail units, ensuring physical distancing throughout, increased cleaning procedures and hand sanitiser stations.
As part of the phased reopening Diageo today launched a short film to showcase what visitors can expect when they arrive – a warm welcome and an enjoyable, safe experience.
Diageo’s distilleries have all been accredited as part of the “Good To Go” scheme that has been developed by VisitScotland and other UK tourism bodies to rebuild visitor confidence.
Barbara Smith, Managing Director of Diageo’s Brand Homes, said, “We are pleased that the time has finally come to reopen the doors of our distilleries in Scotland again so that people can once again enjoy the magic of Scotch whisky.
“We have put in place comprehensive measures to make our distilleries as welcoming and safe as possible and we are taking a gradual approach to reopening so we can build the confidence of our people, visitors and communities.”