Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
Photo: spiritofspeyside.com
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is an annual whisky festival held in one of Scotland’s five traditional whisky regions. Speyside has the largest number of distilleries in Scotland and is famous for its single malt Scotch whiskies. The two best-selling single malts in the world, Glenfiddich and The Glenlivet, are produced in Speyside.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival was founded in 1999 by a small group of single malt whisky connoisseurs. Over the years, it has grown to become the prime meeting place for whisky connoisseurs, enthusiasts and novices from all over the world. Its rich and diverse program features over 500 events designed to promote the world’s finest single malt whiskies and Scotland’s famous whisky industry.

The festival is held every spring, in late April and/or early May. It doesn’t have a single venue. Instead, numerous events are held in dozens of venues throughout Speyside including distilleries, whisky bars, local shops, historic castles, village halls, and more. Local distilleries that participate in the festival open their doors to the public and deliver a special program featuring exclusive tours, tutored tastings and other events and activities.

The program of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is packed with exciting events. It includes cèilidhs (traditional Scottish social gatherings), music sessions, street festivals, whisky fairs and auctions, talks, outdoor adventures, dinners, arts & crafts fairs, workshops, and everything in between. The festival offers something for everyone, provided that all the attendees are old enough to enjoy whisky.

One of the festival’s highlights is the Whisky Awards. The festival has a unique awards scheme that places the power to determine the winning drams in the hands of the real experts – the public. The judging process consists of two rounds. First, the expert panel of judges selects the finalists during a blind nosing and tasting. The finalists are showcased during the festival and sampled by attendees who then cast their vote to determine the winning drams. The awards are presented in several categories: 12 Years Old & Under/Non-Age Statement, 13 – 20 Years Old, 21 Years Old & Over.

In 2021, there were two festivals due to the COVID-19 pandemic: a virtual one in spring and a traditional one in autumn.

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival




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