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Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Limited Edition welcomes back whisky fans


By Calum MacLeod

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Johnstons of Elgin’s managing director George McNeil is Spirit of Speyside’s new chairman. (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)
Johnstons of Elgin’s managing director George McNeil is Spirit of Speyside’s new chairman. (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is making a return to live events this autumn with its very own Limited Edition.

Welcoming whisky enthusiasts of all kinds, from whisky novices to budding master blenders, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Limited Edition will include exclusive behind the scenes access to distilleries not usually open to the public, tastings hosted by some of the best known whisky brands in the region, and a guided running tour through the heart of whisky country.

The six day event will run from Wednesday, November 3, to Monday, November 8.

George McNeil, chairman designate at The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, said: “Nothing beats being together to celebrate the world’s largest producing whisky region and that’s why we decided to create The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Limited Edition, a one-off autumn edition of our Speyside celebration.

“It’s been a tough year for the people and businesses of Speyside. The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Limited Edition, aims to bring local communities and nearly 140 business members in the region together to celebrate Scotland's national drink, while providing the ultimate opportunity for travellers, whisky lovers, outdoor activity enthusiasts and the local community to explore, taste and learn about the world-famous Speyside region.”

There will be talks from experts along with tasting sessions.
There will be talks from experts along with tasting sessions.

Programme highlights include:

● Origins of Glenlivet: A rare opportunity to delve into the history and the process behind The Glenlivet Distillery with distillery manager Trevor Buckley. Archivist Chris Brousseau will discuss iconic founder George Smith, a visionary unafraid to break tradition. Followed by a tutored tasting of Glenlivet whiskies through the years.

● Livit Illicit: Glenlivet is also hosting a Land Rover safari to a secret illicit still location in the Glenlivet hills where the recently released Glenlivet 12 year old 'Illicit Still' malt will be served, followed by tales of illicit whisky distilling and smuggling told in a candlelit bothy.

● Glenlivet Vertical Tasting: Glenlivet joins with Gordon & MacPhail director of prestige, Stephen Rankin, as he introduces guests to rare vintages and samples that were matured by his grandfather, George Urquhart.

● Spey Whisky tasting: Join Paul Dempsey at The Craigellachie Hotel, the oldest Whisky hotel in Speyside, for an evening discovering whisky from the artisan distillery Speyside, near Kingussie.

● Speyside Distillery Production Tour & Tasting: Speyside Distillery is also hosting tours and tasting sessions, starting in the old barley mill built in 1760 and including 250 years and 11 generations of whisky heritage.

● Whisky & Scottish Cheese Tasting: Enjoy an evening of Speyside whisky and Scottish cheeses that complement each perfectly at The Boat Country Inn, Boat of Garten.

● Whisky Tasting Dinner: The Boat Country Inn is also hosting a three course whisky tasting dinner, where you will be guided through four different expressions of whisky.

● Angels’ Nectar in store tasting at The Speyside Centre: A chance to enjoy a free dram from the single cask release from a local distllery.

Enjoy dinner with the Dram Queens.
Enjoy dinner with the Dram Queens.

● Dinner with the Dram Queens: Join Ann Miller, the Dram Queen, and Martine Nouet, the Queen of the Stills, for an evening at the Dowans. Filled with wonderful conversation as well a four-course whisky and food pairing menu.

● RunSpeyside - Craigellachie Trail Run: Learn about distilleries, landmark bridges and local history as well as blowing away some cobwebs.

Enjoy drams and discussions with fellow whisky fans.
Enjoy drams and discussions with fellow whisky fans.

More information about the festival and the full programme can be viewed on the Spirit of Speyside website.

Tickets are on sale from noon on Friday, September 17.


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