May – A Month of Whisky Festivals
Next month starts a barrel load of Whisky Festivals throughout Scotland.
First up is:-
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, This one runs from the 1st of May until the 6th of May with countless events/tours/tastings and master classes that will satisfy the novice to the seasoned Whisky lover. I shall be up in Speyside for the first three days of the festival.
Here at Whisky Boys HQ we would highly recommend that the following Distilleries are high on your must visit list, Glen Moray Distillery, Aberlour Distillery, Glenfarclas Distillery, Glen Grant Distillery and Strathisla Distillery.
Also please add a a wee visit to the Speyside Cooperage.
Next up is:-
Stirling Whisky Festival The main event is on Saturday 11th May and held in The Stirling Highland Hotel, Spittal Street Stirling, with session one 11.45 till 15.15 with a master class from Ben Nevis the second session runs from 16.00 till 19.30 and John Paul giving a master class. There will be dozens of stands showcasing the best of Scotch Whisky. Distilleries attending are Loch Lomond, Ben Nevis, Balblair, Arran, AnCnoc, John Paul, Glenfiddich, Glengoyne, Old Pulteney and The Scotch Malt Whisky Society to mention just a few.
Third Festival is :-
Campbeltown Malts Festival. A three day festival, May the 21st, 22nd and 23rd. This annual event showcases Campbeltown’s Whisky and other spirits.
The main locations are Springbank Distillery, Glengyle Distillery (home to Kilkerran single malt), Glen Scotia Distillery, Cadenhead’s (independent bottler) and finally we have Beinn an Tuirc (Kintyre Gin) Distillery. There will be open days, Whisky dinners, tastings, craft stalls, live music and local food producers.
Nicola will be The Whisky Boys Ambassador for the full three days Campbeltown, if you see her say hello.
Fourth Festival is :-
The Hebridean Whisky Festival. This brand new festival runs from the 21st till the 25th of May. This festival will feature free tours, tastings, music and many special events spread between four island Distilleries: Talisker, Torabhaig ( this is Skye’s newest distillery and late last year I managed a wee visit, it must be one of the most beautiful distilleries I have visited, located in a very picture perfect location on the island.) Isle of Raasay and finally the Isle of Harris. get more information through the Hebridean Whisky Trail website.
Final Festival is :-
The Islay Festival of Music and Malt – Feis Ile. This is the daddy of all festivals, running from Friday 24th May until Saturday 1st June. In 2016 this festival was 30 years old. Once again every distillery will have an open day. Check out the full programme details at islayfestival.com . Not only can you visit all the distilleries but hotels and local halls will have their own Ceilidhs, concerts and dances. There will also be many master classes.
On Friday the 24th is Islay House Open Day, commencing at 1 pm till late. There will be a BBQ on the lawn, lawn games, live music and The Scotch Malt Whisky Society will be hosting some special tastings. Over the years The Whisky Boys have really enjoyed (well it’s our favourite) Bruichladdich open day. This year it will be Ardnahoe’s first ever Feis Ile andf their open day is Wednesday 29th May. Dont forget you can also enjoy some beers/lagers by Islay Ales. If this is your first visit to Islay or to the Feis Ile I can assure you it will not be your last.