SCOTLAND’S whisky festival season is getting underway, with The National Whisky Festival returning to SWG3 in Glasgow tomorrow as part of Celtic Connections.

The festival began in 2015 and has grown from its Glasgow base to include events in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Inverness.

Gareth Croll, the festival’s coordinator, said: “After such an incredible year touring the country with our event in 2022, I can’t wait to be back as part of Celtic Connections – the festival’s spiritual home.

“We are working with more whisky distilleries and musicians than ever and to share this with everyone, especially at such a cherished cultural fixture, is a dream come true.”

Ahead of the festival kicking-off, Celtic Connections this morning unveiled a limited-edition whisky to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

“Grace Notes” is a 10-year-old blend of three casks from Teaninich distillery in Alness.

Just 752 bottles have been produced by whisky merchant Caskade.


Donald Shaw, creative director at Celtic Connections, said: “Much like the country’s musical traditions, whisky holds an important place at the heart of Scottish culture and ‘Grace Notes’ makes for a fitting accompaniment to this momentous milestone for the festival.”

Meanwhile, tickets go on sale next Friday for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.

This year’s gathering runs from 26 April to 1 May, encompassing more than 500 events.

George McNeil, chairman of festival, said: “Taking place across Elgin, to Kingussie, to Forres, our comprehensive programme of events brings the journey of Scottish whisky to life for visitors, creating truly world-class and unforgettable experiences set among spectacular scenery.

“Our visitors travel from as many as 35 different countries, bringing everyone together over a shared passion and interest for whisky.”

Looking further ahead, Holyrood Distillery’s “Mash Up” festival returns on 2-4 June.

The Edinburgh site will host fellow spirits makers and beer brewers, with around 600 fans expected to attend.

Holly Aynsley, bars and events manager for Holyrood Distillery, said: “Last year it was a privilege to welcome some of the most innovative brewers and distillers to take over our distillery and we were delighted with the response to the event.

“This year’s event will be even bigger and better and will be a real demonstration of the cutting edge flavours and techniques in today’s world of brewing and distilling.”

Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages, in association with Cask & Still magazine.

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