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.
Judges turn dram busters in the quest to find Speyside’s finest malts to share with whisky lovers around the world for the annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards 2018.
It’s a tough job but someone has to do it – movers and shakers from the world of whisky have been sampling liquid sunshine in abundance to find their favourite drams for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Awards 2018.
The tasting panel of industry experts with specialisms in distillation, mixology and marketing have shortlisted their favourite drams in the annual quest to find the best malt produced in the Speyside region. But it will be the whisky-loving public – from all over the world – who will have the final say and will select the winning brands at blind tasting sessions taking place overseas as well as in malt whisky’s spiritual home of Speyside.
The chairman of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has been honoured for his outstanding commitment to promoting Scotland’s national drink. James Campbell, a volunteer who has been chairman of the Festival for the past five years, has been inducted as a Keeper of the Quaich – one of the industry’s top honours.
Mr Campbell was one of very few inductees at the ceremony not to be employed by a distiller – and is only one of a handful of Keepers who does not work directly in the industry. He is the first chairman in the event’s 19-year history to receive the honour.
Day two of the Spirit of Speyside whisky festival, April 27. After a good night’s rest and a wonderful breakfast, we decided to visit a nearby distillery, Glen Grant. Just a couple of minutes walking distance from The Station Hotel, you can’t miss the sign at the roundabout. As we were a bit early, for the visitor center opened at 9.30 am, we agreed to discover the surroundings of the distillery.
Glen Grant is well known for its beautiful garden and despite the weather, it was still stunning to set eyes on the Victorian inspired influences.
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is preparing to go global in a bid to whet the appetite of international whisky enthusiasts for this year’s record breaking event. Organizers plan to tickle the taste buds of whisky drinkers in three major cities by giving them the opportunity to play a crucial role in judging its hotly-contested whisky awards.
Roving judging sessions for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards – voted for entirely by the public – are being held over the coming weeks in Amsterdam, Cologne and New Brunswick in Canada. It is hoped that judging sessions will also be staged in venues in New York and Stockholm.
If you think that Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival simply celebrates amber nectar from the world-famous region that is home to more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries then think again – visitors will have the opportunity to sample a range of Japanese whiskies too.
While the chance to meet key players in the Speyside whisky industry and join exclusive behind the scenes distillery tours are in high demand, the festival’s reputation as a premier whisky event means that some unexpected drams will be on offer during the experience.
The first mini-festival drawing Speyside’s finest food and drink producers together in one central venue has been toasted a success, after hundreds of people turned out to ensure it got off the best possible start.
Organisers of Spirit of Speyside: Distilled are in high spirits after finding that mixing the region’s finest whisky with gin, beer and food went down a treat with audiences.
Whisky and water, scotch on the rocks – now there is a new perfect match for the nation’s favourite tipple as Scotland gears up to celebrate its Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016.
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which takes place in Scotland’s most prolific whisky producing region, will show how the multi-million pound global industry has been built on the exact principles which will be nationally recognized over the next 12 months.
Decadent handmade chocolates will find their perfect whisky partners during the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. On first impressions, it may seem like an unusual coupling, but find the right chocolate and the right dram and it makes for a marriage made in heaven.
A whisky and chocolate tasting event taking place during this year’s festival will demonstrate how both whisky and chocolate reflect their origin. Just as different regions produce distinct flavours of whisky, so too do cocoa beans reflect individual characters from their origins.