Spirit of Speyside 2018
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival was founded in 1999. To begin with it started as a small village Fayre to celebrate the many distilleries in the Speyside region and their great produce.
Taking place each year in May, the festival has grown and spread across the region. World famous distilleries open their doors to allow visitors from all corners of the globe to explore the distilleries, meet the master distillers, still men and brewers as well as tasting the fantastic produce.
As a result The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has now become a 5- day festival. In addition to the distilleries there are around 500 events across a multitude of villages and venues. From activities such as golf, whisky walks and cycle rides to tastings, BBQ’s, live music and good old Scottish Ceilidh’s. There is something for everyone!!
Events of 2018
This year we attended a few tours and events across the first weekend in May.
Glenburgie Distillery was the first stop of the weekend. Glenburgie’s doors are closed to the public throughout the year apart from during the festival. Therefore it was great to see a fully functioning distillery without the buildings and grounds being influenced to support visitors. Glenburgie’s spirit is mostly used for the famous blended Whisky ‘Ballantines’. At the end of the tour you were given your very own dram of Glenburgie. For those who haven’t tried Glenburgie it comes highly recommend from us, such an easy whisky to drink.
Moving on from Glenburgie we headed for Glenfarclas Distillery. En route we stopped in to The Macallan Distillery to have a quick wander and catch a glimpse of the new Visitor centre that opens next month…..WOW!!! All we can say is that it is something mighty special and a must visit whenever in the region! After a spot of lunch at Glen Moray we reached Glenfarclas to enjoy a tour at one most famous distilleries in the world, which is still family owned. The new visitor centre opened there only a couple of years ago. It has been refurbished with the decor from the interior from a cruise boat. Very unique and a wonderful experience during the whisky festival.
Dufftown Village Hall, Speyside Festival
The following day at the whisky festival we travelled to Dufftown Village hall where many distilleries and private bottlers exhibited their own stalls. Therefore we were able to wander around and sample their produce. There were a huge number of whiskies available to try and buy but also many craft beers and gin. We do recommend having a healthy breakfast before you go though as your glass is never empty 🙂
Glen Moray Distillery
To cap of the evening, we attended a BBQ at The Glen Moray Distillery. The Distillery clears out one of its warehouses and decks it out with a stage, dancefloor and tables with chairs for the evening. With some fantastic BBQ cooked foods sourced from local produce on offer; as well as some great beers and Glen Moray Whiskies, it is great value for anyone attending. After dinner, there was a live band, traditional Scottish Ceilidh and games which lasted into the wee small hours……a fantastic finish to our time at the Speyside Whisky Festival!
Must see in 2019 Speyside Whisky Festival
If you plan on visiting the festival in 2019, here are a few must-see recommendations from us:
The Glen Moray BBQ most definitely has to be on your list. It has everything you could want from a night out; with the live bands, dancing, fantastic food and a truly wonderful setting.
The Macallan Distillery is a must see and please take a tour whilst you are there. The sheer scale of the place and the design will have you in awe and that’s before you even start to explore inside.
Spey Whisky and Golf!! For all golf and whisky lovers, what more could you ask for. This event takes place over the picturesque Boat of Garten Golf Club, where you will play in competition for a number of prizes. Followed by some food and a Spey Whisky tasting after your round.