London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

A reason to go to Gangnam?

The Distillery in Johnnie Walker House Seoul
“The Distillery”, where invited guests can attend locally curated events featuring World Class guest bartenders. (Image courtesy Love Creative)

LKL has never been a particular fan of South of the Han. Most things we want to do and see tend to be North of the river. But like it or not, it’s where the money is.

Reflecting the opulent demographic, in September this year Diageo opened Johnnie Walker House Seoul in Cheongdam-dong, its third such “global embassy for luxury Scotch whisky” after Shanghai and Bejing. According to Diageo’s press release:

The JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE™ Seoul will offer exclusive ‘by invitation only’ events, such as whisky pairing dinners and mentoring sessions at the VIP Lounge and lifestyle events at The Sky Bar and The Distillery. It will also feature exclusive products, such as 1949 – a unique limited edition blend that commemorates the first year that Johnnie Walker was available in Korea; Zodiac – a series of Johnnie Walker Blue Label featuring animals from Asian mythology and the Korean National flower (Mugunghwa), and Signature Blend – a bespoke cask of whisky created by our Masterblender to suit the individual’s taste preferences.

Set over six floors, the House provides VIP guests with distinctive and exclusive luxury whisky experiences from customised retail, bespoke blending, whisky and cocktail classes and whisky bar culture. The House is dedicated to providing every single guest with an unprecedented luxury whisky experience.

According to Love, the Manchester-based creative agency who worked on the project,

Seoul House has been inspired by the ‘whisky conversation’ and culturally curated at a local level; every room, display and interaction sets out to engage sophisticated Korean consumers and tell the story behind Johnnie Walker.

Three leading Korean artists worked on the project. Park Chan-girl produced a new take on the famous Johnnie Walker striding man…

Park Chan-girl: Sliced images "Striding Man"
Park Chan-girl: Sliced images "Striding Man". (Image courtesy Love Creative)

…while Kim Byoung-ho created the chandelier-like installation The Progression of Silence.1 According to Love:

The audio visual copper installation descends through all six floors in the House with whisky droplets reducing in size until only one single droplet remains to reflect the purity of a Johnnie Walker blend.

Kim Byoung-ho: The Progression of Silence.
Kim Byoung-ho: The Progression of Silence. (Image courtesy Love Creative)

Finally, character artist Sakiroo Choi designed a large mural for the VIP lounge, just visible for three seconds from 1’16” in the above video.

So how does one get an invitation? It looks like a very stylish place to have a civilised glass or two of Blue Label.


  1. A metal sculpture by Kim Byoung-ho featured in the 2012 Korean Eye exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. []

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