Scottish whisky festivals and events to add to your 2017 calendar
- Louise Stoddart
- 17 February 2017
When and where to get your whisky fix in Scotland this year
Partial to a dram or two? Well, thankfully, whisky can be enjoyed all year round in Scotland, with a wide range of events and festivals taking place all across the country. From tastings that highlight the influential role of women in the industry to events that make thirsty work, here's a list of whisky shows that both novices and aficionados should get in the diary.
The Whisky Show: Old and Rare
One of the first major whisky events of the year, The Whisky Show gives visitors a chance to try rare old-style drams at varying prices. Whiskies are sourced from all over the world, including distillates which use production techniques rarely seen today.
Sat 18–Sun 19 Feb, Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow
Whisky and Women
A tasting with six different drams, each chosen to highlight the influential role that women have in the whisky industry. Expect talks from female master blenders, sales managers, brand ambassadors and entrepreneurs. Whisky and Women is part of the Audacious Women Festival.
Fri 24 Feb, Hill Street Design House, Edinburgh
Fiona Rintoul – Whisky Island
Novelist and translator Fiona Rintoul talks through her book Whisky Island, a celebration of Islay's whiskies and the landscape that shaped them. The event is part of Aye Write! Glasgow's Book Festival and guests get a taste of an Islay malt to enjoy throughout the talk.
Thu 9–Sun 19 Mar, Mitchell Library, Glasgow
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
A wide-ranging programme of over 500 events from behind the scenes distillery tours to meet the distiller sessions. Although Speyside is home to more than half the distilleries in the country, the festival's music and comedy events give non-whisky drinkers plenty to be getting on with too.
Thu 27 Apr–Mon 1 May, Speyside
Stirling Whisky Festival
An annual whisky festival serving drams from top distilleries across the country. You can get stuck into over 100 malts (presumably not all 100) and get first hand knowledge from the makers themselves.
Sat 6 May, Stirling Highland Hotel, Stirling
Spirit of Skye Festival
One for those who might struggle with a festival dedicated entirely to whisky. The Spirit of Skye is a celebration of local gin, beer and whisky and also involves ceilidhs, masterclasses and cookery demonstrations from some of the country's finest chefs.
Fri 16–Sat 17 Jun, Aros Centre, Isle of Skye
West Coast Whisky Fèis
On arrival guests of West Coast Whisky Fèis are given their own dramming glass for use throughout the day. Work your way around the exhibitors hall tasting anything that takes your fancy and have a chat with the people behind some of the oldest and smallest distilleries on the West Coast.
Sat 22 Jul, Oban
Spirit of Moray Book Festival
Although primarily a book festival, the Spirit of Moray kicks off with a whisky show to whet the literary appetite. Last year's programme included appearances from Val McDermid, Stuart MacBride, Mairi Hedderwick and David Torrance.
Tue 12–Sat 16 Sep (provisional dates), Elgin Library, Moray
Run from Glenfarclas to Glenfiddich, picking up stamps along the way to receive single malt samples at the end.
Sat 21 Oct, Glenfarclas Distillery, Ballindalloch
Glasgow Whisky Festival
A celebration of Scotland's national drink in Scotland's National Stadium. More than 50 whisky stands at Glasgow Whisky Festival will showcase a range of whiskies from all over the globe. Whisky related art, books, food and more are also on offer.
Sat 11 Nov, Hampden Park, Glasgow
Whisky events hit a bit of a dry spell later in the year, but traditional music festival, Islay Sessions, offers workshops, various concerts and whisky tastings for which the island is famous for.
Fri 17–Sun 19 Nov, Isle of Islay