The Best Whisky Month Events 2015
- Rowena McIntosh
- 5 May 2015
A good dram is never far away this May, with tours, festivals and tastings
Not content to devote one mere day to honour the wonders of whisky, the entire of May has been christened Whisky Month. We’ve rounded up the best tastings, tours, festivals and events to celebrate the national tipple. Slàinte.
To get a taste for the water of life, A D Rattray Whisky Experience and Whisky Shop host informal introductions to the spirit each Thursday, at which you can learn the essentials of nosing and tasting. Food event pioneers Jelly & Gin return with a new multi-sensory event Create: Eat: Whisky to explore the whisky making process through its sights, sounds and tastes. Noise, light and aroma will transport you and your whisky cocktail to a mountain top or a roaring fire. As part of Festival of Museums you can enjoy a cultured tipple at Whisky Tasting at the Museum. Perth’s own ‘Whisky Auctioneer’ leads a tasting of Perthshire whiskies, and explains the area’s whisky production heritage with the aid of related objects from the museum’s collection.
There is an array of festivals devoted to ‘guid auld Scotch drink’. In Edinburgh the Whisky Stramash promises 'mystery, entertainment, comicality and madcap pioneering', and a lineup featuring Bunnahabhain, Ledaig, Aberfeldy and the debuts of Craigellachie and Aultmore. The main festival takes place in Surgeons Hall, with an evening of whisky cocktails at a secret location on the Friday. The Spirit of Stirling Whisky Festival offers a whole Saturday of drams from all five whisky regions as well as a chance to increase your knowledge with masterclasses. Islay, the most famous island in the world of whisky with eight active distilleries for a population of just over 3000, hosts the Islay Festival of Music and Malt. The nine-day festival, now in its 31st year, is held at venues across the island and features distillery tours, plenty of live music and even Gaelic lessons for those wanting to embrace local culture.
Evening celebrations include Blair Bowman Whisky Dinner and Drams, a chance to hear from the creator of World Whisky Day himself. In 2012, Bowman founded an initiative where people across the globe would host and attend events celebrating Scotland’s national drink. The campaign went viral and the brand was sold earlier this year. Here Bowman recounts his story and pairs his favorite drams with food prepared at the Tipping House. Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, Botanics Late: The Hive and The Still focuses on two of Scotland’s national products, whisky and honey. There’s entertainment, plus interactive activities and demonstrations from scientists, chefs and producers.
For those who like their liquor after a jolly constitutional, Edinburgh Expert: Whisky Walk offers a jaunt around Edinburgh's Royal Mile, Canongate and Holyrood, followed by a tutored tasting at Jeffrey Street Whisky and Tobacco. As part of TradFest you can join a Whisky and Tales Tour to hear traditional Scottish stories, and listen to folk music on a tour of Edinburgh’s taverns. And if you find yourself by the castle, the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile is open seven days a week to cater to all your whisky needs.
Whisky Month runs Fri 1 May–Sun 31 May with World Whisky Day celebrated on Sat 16 May.