We got a real taste of innovation plus plenty of warm and friendly hospitality on Tuesday evening at the launch of the new £1 million shop at Edinburgh’s Scotch Whisky Experience.
The new shop is a treasure trove of interactive delights which will keep whisky lovers and even those who have yet to be converted to the pleasures of a dram – fascinated and inspired.
The atmosphere is warm and welcoming with a new glass gallery, countertops made from reclaimed whisky cask ends, custom made lighting, oak flooring and slate feature walls. The Single Malt whiskies are now organised by region, making it easy for customers to browse collections and find what they are looking for, or get suggestions from the friendly and knowledgeable staff.
There is an incredibly cool VIP area in a new upstairs area which offers a more private comfortable space to browse the premium collection on a specially created i-Pad app. Once a customer has identified which whisky they want to see, the staff will then bring the bottle up for them to have a look at in more detail.
However it was the clever and fun interactive features and loving attention to detail, much of which is based on customer feedback and the SWE’s own staff ideas; which really caught our attention – these features themselves are good reason enough for visiting the new shop.
There is a touch-screen distillery guide and an interactive flavour map, which lets customers discover new options just by pressing a button – if you like Old Pulteney, for instance, but are looking for another whisky similar to that, just press the button and the map will light up to show you other whisky alternatives with a similar flavour profile.
We had fun trying out the new touch screens (in 20 individual languages including Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Russian and Brazilian) and we were hypnotised by the feature wall of bottles which not only changes colour but offers moody Scottish landscapes and waterfalls for you to gaze at!
The Pick and Mix facility is a brilliant idea, offering customers the option of creating a personalised selection pack of miniatures and a tasting glass – pick up the info sheet for your pack in your language, then log on to the internet to download the tasting notes for each of the four whiskies in your pack – genius!
With the news that a personal shopper service is available to all customers and that there is now a resident whisky Mixologist in the bar upstairs (for those partial to a whisky cocktail) we left with very big smiles on our faces – we think you will too.