Nothing, and no one is more Scottish than Scotch itself, and the drink is in fact so popular, the word whisky is derived from the Gaelic term, uisge beatha, which literally translates to ‘the water of life.’
This undiminishing love for Scotch whisky has inspired the people of Scotland to celebrate their single greatest export, or more accurately their gift to the world, with a number of vibrant festivals across the region.
Today, whisky connoisseurs from all over the world chalk out their itineraries months in advance in order to attend this elaborate commemorations of Scotch whisky.
Whisky tasting, Distillery and Whisky museum tours, dancing by the campfire to the tunes of Scottish folk music and feasting on some scrumptious food pairings are some of the unique indulgences that await.
Travel to the Speyside, the Highlands and the unique Islay region of Scotland to learn more about your favourite Scotch whisky brands, learn whisky tasting from the experts and broaden the horizons of your whisky collection with unique and special festival only bottlings.
1. Spirit of Speyside Whisky festival
Home to some of the most iconic distilleries in all of Scotland, including The Glenlivet, famously known as ‘the single malt that started it all’, the Speyside hosts this whisky festival annually.
Started in 1999, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is one of the largest Scottish Whisky Festivals attended by Scotch whisky lovers all over the world. It is spread out over a period of five days, and involves activities such as whisky tasting, visits to historic local distilleries and castles, and exploring the charming old bars and watering holes across the region.
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival will be held from 1st May 2019, to 6th May 2019.
2. Chivas Regal Blending Experience
The creators of the world’s first luxury whisky undertake this wonderful event to familiarize Scotch whisky lovers with the meticulous craft and traditional duties of the Master Blender.
Informative sessions, the chance to create your own 200ml bottle of whisky, and unique tasting sessions held at some of the most famous bars across the United Kingdom in cities such as London, Manchester, Glasgow, and Liverpool.
The Chivas Regal Blending Experience is held over numerous sessions, each lasting an hour, and costing £15 that are held on a regular basis from November until the arrival of Spring 2020.
3. Inverness Whisky & Gin Festival
This Highlands festival unfolds over a period of five days, and involves whisky and gin tasting, master classes in the art of making Scotch whisky and gin, trying the vast array of foods, and Scottish music.
The Inverness Whisky & Gin Festival is held from 13th April 2019 to 18th April 2019, and the festival organizers vouch for the fact that this event will be an adventure from start to finish.
The festival begins from Bogbain, a 19th century farm in Inverness, and then proceeds to take place across different venues all over Inverness.
4. Stirling Whisky Festival
The Stirling Whisky Festival allows guests to relish the perfect food pairings with some of the most exquisite single malt scotch whiskies. It has been held consistently since it was introduced in 2012, and will be held from May 11th 2019 to 13th May 2019.
Two different MasterClass sessions will be undertaken by Ben Nevis and John Paul respectively, wherein the experts will share their knowledge of Scotch whisky with the guests.
The festival is organized by Stirling Spirit Company, and is held at the Stirling Highland Hotel. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society will be offering an exclusive tasting experience to all attendees.
One of the most unique experiences to have ever been born out of the conflation of marathons and the love for Scotch whisky, the Dramathon is a Marathon with a route that encompasses a number of Speyside Distilleries. It will be held on 19th October 2019.
Beginning from the Glenfarclas Distillery, the Dramathon has four different distances that participants can opt for; The Full Dram, The Half Dram, We Dram and The Wee Dram.
Depending on the distance that chosen, participants are rewarded with miniatures at the end of their ‘Dramathon’, and the distilleries that are part of this event as Glenfarclas, Tamdhu, Balvenie, Glenallachie, Ballindalloch, Glenfiddich and more.
6. Highland Whisky Festival
Held from 10th May 2019 to 17th May 2019, the Highland Whisky Festival has an interesting itinerary of visits to some of the oldest distilleries on the North Coast 500 route that passes through the Highlands. These distilleries include Glenmorangie, The Dalmore, Old Pulteney, Tomatin, Balblair, and Wolfburn among others.
The North Coast 500 made this wonderful Scottish whisky festival possible, and it has since been met with a lot of praise after its maiden outing in 2018. It is one of the biggest whisky festivals to be held in May alongside the Spirit of Speyside Festival.
7. Feis Ile
One of the oldest and the most popular whisky festivals held on the Islay region of Scotland, the Feis Ile offers guests the chance to visit the renowned Islay distilleries, and be treated to a warm welcome with piping, poetry, Scottish songs, and Gaelic lessons.
The Feis Ile is an annual festival and will be held for the 32nd time this year, from 24th May to 1st June 2019. Guests have the chance to taste six iconic Islay whiskies, attend a Folk Night at the Ardbeg, Whisky Nosing at the Ramsay Hall and many more wonderfully interesting activities.
These are some of the best, highly rated and most visited Scottish Whisky Festivals that every whisky lover, no matter where they are from, must attend at least once in their lifetime.