Heritage, travel, education, music, food and drink, socialising – whatever interests you might list on a dating site, you’ll find an event to match during the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, including speed dating.
It might not be about romance, but if you adore whisky, a one-to-one with some of Speyside’s most highly esteemed whisky experts could be just the ticket.
It’s an environment that has sheltered illicit whisky makers of the past, and it’s one of the best places in Britain from which to study the night skies – little wonder the natural landscape has a starring role in the 2018 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.
The festival programme boasts its greatest ever mix of events exploring the natural environment that has spawned some of the world’s best-loved whisky brands.
From rugged hills to fertile plains, trickling burns to fast flowing rivers, the unspoilt nature of Speyside’s landscape can be explored on foot, by canoe or on board an eight-wheeled Argocat during the five-day dram-fest.
A record-breaking number of whisky drinkers from around the globe are to determine Speyside’s top drams in one of the industry’s best-loved award schemes. The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Awards is stopping off at 18 different venues with its roving judging sessions – 10 more than it visited last year.
Whisky drinkers in Canada, the USA and Europe – as well as the UK – will be asked to cast their vote following a blind taste test of eight malt whiskies that have been distilled in Speyside – Scotland’s most prolific whisky-producing region.
The expanded number of venues taking part in the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards sessions underlines the international appeal of the event and how much it resonates with people around the globe, says Festival manager John Blyth.
Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky, has launched its search for the 2018 Chivas Masters Global Champion. Now in its fifth year, the Chivas Masters is a global competition that celebrates bartenders who demonstrate cutting-edge skill and creativity and share Chivas Regal’s core values of community, collaboration and generosity.
Gordon & MacPhail, located in the north-east of Scotland in the heart of the world famous whisky producing region of Speyside. Gordon & MacPhail is an independent family owned and managed firm which has been bottling Single Malt Whiskies for over 120 years.
I’ve tasted five amazing award-winning whiskies and captured the lost gems from a bygone era of single malt Scotch whisky production.
It contributes a staggering £16.55m to the local economy every year and employs over 3,500 people: there’s no escaping the fact that food and drink is big business on Speyside. This tiny corner of Scotland has a population of just 90,000 but it punches above its weight when it comes to gastronomy.
The region is home to over half of all of Scotland’s distilleries – over 50 in total – including some of the world’s top-selling single malts, and food firms with a heritage spanning over a century have made Speyside their home.
But what is it about the area – where the food and drink sector employs almost five times the Scottish average – that makes it a haven for producers?
Does the perfect place exist to drink a glass of whisky? What is the perfect place for you to have a dram? Is this in your own home, the bar around the corner with the beautiful bartender or is this at your friends place who has the new PlayStation and a Chesterfield couch?
I do love to drink my whisky at home, my comfort zone, but I can imagine everyone has his or her favorite place to raise a glass. In my spare time, you can find me outside most of the time. Walking, wandering and thinking, I love being outside in the fresh air, call it meditation if you like.
Following the soaraway success of a festival launched last year to celebrate one of Scotland’s most fruitful food and drink regions, Spirt of Speyside: Distilled is to return – with an even greater range of home-grown flavours.
World leading drinks brands will join small artisan producers for the weekend festival at Elgin Town Hall on September 1 and 2 in a showcase of Speyside’s finest whisky, gin, beer and food. Classic drams will be served up alongside contemporary cocktails with speciality coffee to try alongside grown-up fudge.
After the whisky at Angels and Alchemy at The Glenlivet, it was time to freshen up and have dinner at The Station Hotel, the Tootsbar. I had the best cheeseburger ever that night. Thinking about it again makes hungry again.
Next step was getting back to Glen Moray Distllery where we were getting entertained by Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison. The amazing duo behind Cast Strength Creative. This night they were joined by the Visitor Centre Manager and Brand Ambassador, Lain Allan. Those three could be a comedyteam any time. This night was all about discover the Whisky from the roots, an amazing tasting adventure.