In March before the world felt like it was ending in a COVID-19 based horror movie I saw press releases for a new display in Kilmarnock on the history of Johnnie Walker. This really peeked my interest and I knew I would have to go back to where I grew up and visit the museum in the heart of the town.
This makes it sound like I live miles away and getting there involved a trek but alas no I just live in a different county now but you now drama is important.
For background information on the link between the Johnnie Walker brand and the town of Kilmarnock in Ayrshire then check out my first post on the subject:
History of Johnnie Walker and Kilmarnock 1820-2012
The museum is also the town library and social hub with an onsite coffee shop. It looks a lot better maintained and invested in that when I was at school. The actual exhibit we are interested in though is upstairs and a room which contains a number of interesting themes one of which is Johnnie Walker whisky. I have to say I was quite surprised and disappointed by this. The press material and announcements made it sound much larger than it is in reality. The exhibit is essentially a single wall within the room and contains a number of different cabinets and two televisions running mini documentaries. The second one shows the production of whisky from the 1950’s and is absolutely fascinating. I would love to insert it from YouTube here but it doesn’t seem to be uploaded anywhere else.
I got loads of pictures from the exhibit and certainly had a great day out but I wouldn’t recommend you make a long trip to come. You will almost certainly spend longer travelling than actually visiting the place. This is a bit of a shame when you think of how many millions are being spent on some tourist trap in the countries capital on Johnnie Walker fluff and the place where it actually started gets what feels like, if we are truly honest, an after thought.
Oh just before you go though I did look around the other exhibits in the room. Of course, there is material of Robert Burns the famous Scottish poet who lived from 1759-1796. They have his “dram glass” in a cabinet which of course I took a picture of.
Its that glass in the picture above. You know the glass…next to the skull… apparently its a cask of his skull put on a plinth during the Victorian era. Them Victorians were mental.