One of the world’s largest whisky festivals will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, as its programme of events was launched.
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which starts on 1 May and runs for six days, will see 85 venues opening their doors and 650 events, including a helicopter flight with Glenfarclas and the opening of Dunphail distillery.
Celebrity chef and whisky fan Tony Singh helped launch the prestigious festival by heading to The Glenlivet in Speyside and naturally celebrated with a dram.
‘This is one of the best whisky festivals globally and I’m looking forward to coming back with my family in May to go to some of the events,’ he said.
‘Having recently invested in a cask, I must confess – I’m head over heels for a good malt or blend, especially when it’s a delightful addition to my culinary creations. So, what better day than Burns birthday to toast the festival launch.’
Speyside is the largest whisky producing region in Scotland, with more than 50 distilleries.
Five distilleries will celebrate their 200th anniversary this year, including The Macallan, The Glenlivet, Miltonduff, Cardhu and Balmenach, while a new distillery Dunphail, will be opening its doors to festival goers for the first time.
With 19 villages and towns taking part, the festival provides a huge boost to the local economy attracting thousands of visitors each year.
Nearly 40% of them come from overseas, while 20% come from the local area and the rest from all corners of the UK.
‘It’s incredible to think this is the 25th year of the festival and it continues to grow in size and stature,’ said George McNeil, chairman of the festival.
‘The distilleries in Speyside that take part make it a truly unique festival. It’s a chance for visitors to immerse themselves in the whisky world with world-class experiences, behind the scenes tours, visit distilleries that don’t normally open their doors to the public and enjoy a few days in this beautiful part of the world.
‘I think this year will be our biggest and best yet so would encourage people to book early to avoid disappointment.’
EVENTS TO LOOK OUT FOR
- The Spirit of Speyside Festival Ceilidh at The Macallan
- The Ultimate Whisky Flight which includes a helicopter tour with Glenfarclas
- Auchroisk Distillery Through The Decades Tour
- Whisky Detectives with Glenlivet Hill Trek
- Speyburn After Hours
- OurWhisky Foundation House Party at The Dowans Hotel
- The Beginning; Celebrating the Opening of Dunphail Distillery
Launch of ticket sales is live at 12pm on 31 January. To find out more and buy tickets, visit the Spirit of Speyside website.