On Saturday 22nd July, in the height of festival season, 1,200 whisky enthusiasts will descend upon The Corn Exchange in the heart of Edinburgh for two 3 and a half hour sessions of drams, masterclasses, talks, food & an amazing Scottish traditional music programme of live music curated by Celtic Connections and Synergy Concerts.
The event is designed to be fun for everyone from beginners to experts.
• Over 30 exhibitors presenting the best of the national drink and drams from around the world
• Full programme of informative, entertaining talks on whisky history, production and culture
• Masterclasses - private, tutored tastings of your favourite brands and expressions
• Fantastic programme of live music curated by Celtic Connections and Synergy Concerts including SHOOGLENIFTY
• Local restaurants will be present, providing excellent fare to compliment the whisky
• Whiski Rooms will host an off-sales featuring a large range of the featured brands
• Craft beer bar
The Corn Exchange, 10 New Market Road, Edinburgh EH14 1RJ
The event will take place on Saturday 22nd July 2017 and run over two sessions:
Session 1 - 12pm – 3:30pm
Session 2 – 4:15pm – 7:45pm
Tickets for the event are £40 per session, and include a heck of a lot including unlimited access to all tastings from our exhibitors, entertainment, a programme, £5 off purchases at Whiski Rooms onsite bottle shop and a branded Glencairn whisky glass for each whisky fan to take home.
Masterclasses will be ticketed separately with limited availability on a first-come, first-served basis.
You can buy your ticket here: nationalwhiskyfestival.scot/#tickets
Tickets may also be available on the door on the day of the festival but they are likely to sell out online quickly.
By public transport: Edinburgh has excellent public transport and the Corn Exchange benefits greatly from several bus and train routes.
From the centre of town Lothian Buses run a number 35, from Haymarket you can also take the 4 or 44, which all stop outside the Corn Exchange and Slateford Train Station (on the Glasgow central line) is a two minute walk from the venue.
You can also book a taxi via companies includes Central Taxis - 0131 229 2468
LIVE MUSIC including…
SHOOGLENIFTY featuring LAURA WILKIE will soundtrack the last pour of each session in spectacular style...
Shooglenifty, roughly translated as ‘the bringers of joy’, will allow you to lose yourself in some superlative Scottish dance grooves.
If full on birling, gentle swaying or just foot tapping is your thing, the devilishly dirty rhythms will transport you to a wild, slightly leftfield ceilidh where anything goes.
Serving authentic Indian street food mixed up with a little Scottish influence: Babu offers true homestyle cooking.
Made with fresh seasonal ingredients, no added preservatives and low oil content - their food guarantees you a hearty and healthy meal (always—of course—with a touch of spice). Make sure to stop by their stand for something wholly familiar but distinctly different.
A speciality coffee roaster based in central Edinburgh, Forth Coffee are driven by a commitment to the speciality coffee industry.
Supplying coffee which is roasted with care and consideration to achieve an optimum flavour profile true to its origin and suited to its brewing method - they have become a key supplier across Edinburgh.
For those of you looking to pair your drams with some incredible artisanal craft chocolate, we have the delectably delicious Chocolate Tree from Edinburgh joining us.
Mixing social conscience with decadent produce, these organic and ethical bean-to-bar handcrafted delights are sure to tease your tastebuds.
We personally recommend the delicious Classic dark chocolate made from a beautiful South American cacao, blended with Scottish single malt whisky infused cacao nibs.
Fed up of the soggy, greasy pie from your local bakery? Pie Not were too, and they have set out to change our thoughts on this humble British classic.
Their pies include some well thought out combinations, such as chicken, leek and tarragon; smoked haddock with salmon and steak and red wine. What's more, all their ingredients are sourced locally and handmade using 100% shortcrust pastry.
ROOM ONE (30 capacity)
12:30 - 1:10 - Blair Bowman - 'The FUTURISM of WHISKY’ (£5)
Join Blair Bowman, whisky consultant, founder of World Whisky Day and author of the recently published Pocket Guide to Whisky: featuring the WhiskyTubeMap for 'The FUTURISM of WHISKY' at the National Whisky Festival Edinburgh.
Your senses will be confused, your preconceptions will be challenged and your taste buds will be intrigued. Only the bold and the brave should attend this unique whisky tasting experience will taste while in new and memorable ways.
1:30 - 2:10 - Eden Mill - What’s in the wood? (Maturing spirit at Eden Mill)
The shape of the still, the raw ingredients, location, and the spirit cuts all influence the profile of a Whisky. But arguably these pale in comparison to the effect the oak has on the maturing spirit. Colour, mouth feel, nose, palate and finish are all shaped by the wood used to age the whisky.
And there are hundreds of variables when it comes to the wood and maturation; age, oak variety, location, charring, previous use, size, temperature. It is these variables that give the Whisky industry such variety of flavours and styles.
Jasper Daly (Distiller) will guide you through a tasting of Eden Mill’s new make and 2 year old spirits to highlight the influence the wood has had in such a short space of time.
You will then get a chance to taste a couple of Eden Mill’s, “Art of the Blend”, Whiskies which highlight what different varieties of cask can have on finishing a blended Whisky. During the tasting Jasper will discuss the individual aspects of a cask and how they interact with the spirit to make Scotland’s most famous export.
2:30 - 3:10 - Loch Lomond - An Exploration of Distillation
Learn about the innovative distilling techniques of the Loch Lomond distillery whilst enjoying a range of its single malts and grain.
ROOM TWO (15 capacity)
12:30 - 1:10 - Wemyss Malts Blending Scotch Workshop
Join Wemyss Malts to learn the history, alchemy and secrets of blending Scotch whisky.
Whilst Scotch single malts tend to get most of the limelight, blended Scotch and blended malts account for over 90% of the whisky bought and drank around the world yet the knowledge of how these masterful blends are created largely remains kept a closely guarded secret.
A Wemyss Malts Ambassador will take you through the unwritten guide to blending, including a whisky sensory evaluation session and a laboratory scale blending class, explaining the different flavour categories of whisky and delicate touch needed to craft a quality Scotch whisky.
Wemyss Malts are a family run independent bottler of Scotch whisky established in 2005. Utilising years of experience from blending French wine, the Wemyss family craft blended Scotch whisky and blended malts from carefully selected stocks. Each of the Blended Scottish Malts; The Hive, Spice King and Peat Chimney, are named from the flavours and aromas that can be discovered in the whisky.
Wemyss Malts also bottle Lord Elcho Blended Scotch, a variety of rare single cask single malts and Darnley’s Gin. In Late 2014 Wemyss Malts opened Kingsbarns Distillery in the Kingdom of Fife which will release a classic lowland malt as of mid-2018.
1:30 - 2:10 - Paul John masterclass
Join ambassador Shilton Almeida as he takes you through the award-winning Paul John Indian Single Malt Whisky range:
- Paul John Brilliance
- Paul John Edited
- Paul John Bold
- Paul John Classic
- Paul John Peated
2:30 - 3:10 - Theatre of Drams Whisky Tasting
Savour Three completely different styles and flavours of Whisky - A Salty Dram, A Sweet Dram, A Smoked Dram ~ all from Islay + all 25mls.
Hear good stories as you learn how to expertly Nose & Taste.
Try an oatcake and cheese with peaty Islay Whisky marmalade…
Rachel MacNeill from Islay : Professional Whisky Drinker!
www.TheatreofDrams.scot Whisky Symposium.
Islay Whisky School.
www.WhiskyforGirls.com (& Guys!)
www.WildandMagicIslay.com Whisky Tours & Events
ROOM ONE (30 capacity)
4:40 - 5:20 - Blair Bowman - 'The FUTURISM of WHISKY’ (£5)
5:40 - 6:20 - Eden Mill - What’s in the wood? (Maturing spirit at Eden Mill)
6:45 - 7:25pm - Glen Scotia
ROOM TWO (15 capacity)
4:40 - 5:20 - Scotch Malt Whisky Society - Sumptuous Single Cask Surprises
5:40 - 6:20 - Murray McDavid
6:45 - 7:25 - Theatre of Drams Whisky Tasting
From drams to cocktails and liqueurs to gins, there's sure to be something here for everyone. Here the team gives us a run down of all of the exhibitors.
Created by Rupert Waites, head chef and chief forager at the Buck and Birch, Aelder was one of numerous wild flavour experiments developed in “The Shed”.
Rupert said: "Resurrected from the embers of the past, sparked with imagination and stoked with an obsession for Scotland’s natural wild larder, each bottle of Aelder is testament to nature’s brilliance.
A truly unique, sophisticated and contemporary elixir, Aelder excels in elevating many of Scotland’s forgotten ingredients back into the contemporary consciousness."
Taking its debut at our very first dining experience in 2012 it proved an instant hit, with diners requesting bottles to take home.
Be sure to try this on 22nd July!
Amrut Malt Single Malt Whisky is the product of many years’ research and dedication in India.
Some of Amrut is made from carefully selected Indian barley and its peatier whiskies from malted Scottish barley from malthouses in Scotland. To retain the natural characteristics of the oak, Amrut single malt whisky is non-chill filtered.
To retain the natural characteristics of the oak, Amrut single malt whisky is non-chill filtered.
Angels' Share Glass is an award-winning glass manufacturer, based in the heart of Scotland, they produce innovative and unique designs for the whisky lover.
See their range and test their award winning water droppers and whisky giftware for yourself at The National Whisky Festival.
The most ambitious tourism story in Dumfries and Galloway is the rebirth of the old Annandale Distillery and its transformation into a 21st century whisky making centre and visitor attraction.
Annandale Distillery is producing two styles of whisky honouring two of Scotland’s most iconic figures, both with strong ties to the Annandale area. The smoky, peaty 'Man O' Sword is the 'single malt whisky of
The smoky, peaty 'Man O' Sword is the 'single malt whisky of kings' inspired by Scotland's most famous warrior king and 7th Earl of Annandale Robert the Bruce, while the non-smoky 'Man O' Words' pays tribute to the national bard, Robert Burns.
They will showcase their New Make Spirit, ‘Rascally Liquor’ at the festival.
It will be a most worthwhile wait for the Arbikie Highland Estate Single Malt and whilst that matures we are delighted to have the flavoursome Arbikie spirit ranges with us for our inaugural event.
Think of all the tradition and passion involved in the making of single malt whisky – now think of that same energy going into the making of vodka and gin. Showcasing on the day will be the smooth Arbikie Vodka, punchy Strawberry Arbikie Vodka, fiery Chilli Vodka, alongside the World renowned Kirsty’s Gin (Arbikie Gin).
The Arbikie Highland Estate will also be showcasing AK’s Gin. The honey-and-wheat distilled spirit, which features botanicals including black pepper, mace and cardamom. Be one of the lucky first to sample the flavour with us.
Arran Whisky revived the tradition of whisky making on Arran when they built the Isle of Arran Distillery in Lochranza. When a three-year old cask was opened on 25th July 1998, their guests enjoyed the first legal dram of Arran whisky in over 160 years.
They now produce a range of ages and expressions, but all are made using the same traditional methods and materials: all-Scottish barley, washbacks crafted from Oregon pine with the whisky maturing in carefully-chosen oak casks that have previously held Sherry, Bourbon and other noble liquors.
Inspired by the Cape Mountains and its natural beauty, Bain's Cape Mountain Whisky is the first of its kind in South Africa.
A double matured whisky produced from 100% South African Yellow Maize, they first mature it in specially selected first-fill bourbon casks for a period of three years, before transferring it to a second set of first-fill bourbon casks for a further 18 to 30 months to extract a full rich flavor like no other.
You can sample Bain's at the Distell stand.
Ben Nevis Distillery is one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland.
Established in 1825 and situated at the foot of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, Ben Nevis distillery is an impressive and historic place. Come taste history in the form of their ‘Dew of Ben Nevis’ selections.
Box Destilleri lies beside the Ångerman River in Ådalen around 100km north of Sundsvall in northern Sweden. With its source lying deep in the mountains, the river provides them with almost unlimited access to crystal clear, chilled water – a defining factor in creating a rich, character filled distillation.
For much of the year, the temperature of this water is only a few degrees above freezing. This fresh mountain water is an exclusive resource which allows them to distill more effectively than in any other location in the world.
Bunnahabhain is not a typical, heavily peated, smoke-filled Islay – instead it lets the sea and the island’s nature speak naturally. This welcoming taste embodies the approachable side of Islay.
Sample the distillery's selections at the Distell stand.
We are very excited to announce that contemporary blending masters Compass Box Whisky will be exciting your taste buds at this year's National Whisky Festival!
Compass Box will be bringing a plethora of their premium blended whiskies, including:
Great King St Glasgow Blend
Deanston Single Malt Scotch Whisky is an artisan whisky, one that is crafted the traditional way. All of their whiskies are unchill-filtered which means that nothing is added and nothing is taken away.
Unless, of course, you count the time, devotion and commitment that goes into every bottle.
Established in 1948, Douglas Laing is a leading creator and purveyor of the finest Scotch Whisky with particular focus on artisan, Small Batch and Single Cask bottlings.
A proud family business in its third generation, their goal is to continually exceed the expectations of our customers and consumers around the world by offering the most special, quality-driven and unique Scotch Whisky experience.
Eden Mill are Scotland’s first single-site distillery and brewery, making gin, whisky and beer. Their spirit is created by their distillers in copper pot-stills and exhibits a wide range of flavours from botanicals sourced from the local area, as well as from around the world. They will be at the festival with their celebrated Love Gin, Original Gin, Oak Gin and Hop Gin.
Keep your eyes open for details of their exciting masterclass on the day, focusing on the evolution of their upcoming single malt.
We’re getting scientific as the fantastic Elements of Islay join us at The National Whisky Festival this year. The individual whiskies within the Elements of Islay range are bottled either as single casks or individual batches of between five and twenty carefully selected casks from a single distillery.
Come try their distinct bottlings from various Islay distilleries, which capture the character of the great peaty isle.
Fraiser Of Scotland is a uniquely Scottish drink blending the flavours of premium Scotch whisky with wild strawberries.
FRAISER'S creator, John Smith, learned and mastered his craft in the whisky industry over 35 years, latterly as Head Blender for Glenmorangie.
Since retiring from Glenmorangie and having worked previously on traditional malts and blends, John’s focus for the past few years has been to create a new and unique flavour profile which would reflect the provenance and heritage of Scotch Whisky, but which at the same time, would offer a new taste experience appealing to both new and existing whisky drinkers alike.
FRAISER is a result of that aspiration, and the original, hand crafted, and secret recipe that gives FRAISER its unique taste is in the heart and mind of one man only “The Whisky Man”.
Originally designed by Raymond Davidson, managing director of Glencairn Crystal, the shape of the Glencairn Glass is derived from the traditional nosing copitas used in whisky labs around Scotland.
You will receive your very own Glencairn glass upon arrival at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, which you can use to sample drams from our many exhibitors
We are delighted that Glenfiddich will be at the festival with their Experimental Series IPA. Collaborating with a local Speyside craft brewer, Malt Master Brian Kinsman created a bold and zesty IPA beer to imbue their rich oak casks with extra hoppy notes.
The experiment resulted in the first single malt Scotch whisky ever finished in craft IPA casks. You will also be able to sample the Glenfiddich 12, and 15 year offerings with us.
Perfected over the generations, since 1833. Glengoyne’s stills are Scotland’s slowest, the gentlest of journeys creating a unique flavour. No peat is used in the barley drying process, allowing the subtle, complex flavours of slow distillation and exquisite wood to shine through. Glengoyne’s natural colour comes from time and wood alone.
Matured in hand-selected sherry casks, stacked just three high in the cool darkness of its stone-built warehouses.
Tamdhu was born on the banks of the River Spey in 1897, in an era when anything seemed possible – the age of the 'can-dhu-spirit'. Matured exclusively in sherry oak casks, every drop is as magnificent now as it was then. Tamdhu's water is drawn directly from the Tamdhu spring and its malted barley has just a hint of peat.
Once distilled, the spirit is matured in some of the finest European and American oak sherry casks in the industry, a high proportion of which are first-fill. Over time, these fine oak casks give Tamdhu its wondrous natural colour and exquisite quality.
Contemporary, individual and exciting, Smokehead appeals to bold and adventurous whisky drinkers who are looking for something challenging and different. A
A heavily-peated Islay single malt whisky of the highest quality, Smokehead hits you like a cannonball and takes you on an explosive rollercoaster of peat, smoke and spice with a little delicate sweetness thrown in.
Jane Taylor lives on the Isle of Islay, the most southern of the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland. The island provides inspiration for her drawings and paintings. Although she enjoys and appreciates Islay’s world famous single malt whiskies, it’s the distillery buildings themselves that fascinate her.
Jane’s graphics reveal the architectural influence of her Father. Whilst acknowledging the easy attraction in the sensuous shape of the stills and oriental-looking pagodas sitting on top of steep pyramidal roofs, it's in the structure of the still houses, malt kilns and warehouses – their whitewashed walls; the variety of windows and chimney stacks – that Jane finds the true balance of functionality and beauty.
In stunning locations around the island, the distilleries sit comfortably in their local environment, detracting nothing from the landscape.
Just as each whisky has its individual taste and aromas, so the scale, shape and form of each distillery differs one from another. Like the spirit they produce, the distilleries have some features in common and some which are unique. All their qualities are represented in this set of prints from Jane’s original acrylic paintings
With production only having begun in 2006, Kavalan Whisky (Taiwan’s firstwhisky distillery) has already taken the world by storm with its whiskies winning such prestigious accolades as: ‘World’s Best Single Malt Whisky’ at the World Whiskies Awards in 2015.
Konrad Borkowski Photography specialises in landscape, documentary and lifestyle photography. He lives in the Isle of Jura, but photographs all around Scotland and worldwide, with his work published in The Times, The Scotsman, Planet Golf, GQ Germany, Swedish First Class Magazine, Italian Internazionale to name a few.
Konrad will be at the festival showcasing his fantastic photography, selling his book 'Whisky Island' and prints and more...
Ledaig is an extraordinary and distinguished hand-crafted single malt and is the Tobermory Distillery's signature smoky expression, an integral part of the Tobermory family, and sits beautifully alongside their signature malts.
You can sample Ledaig at the Distell stand.
From Glen Scotia Double Cask, which was recently voted “Whisky of the Year” by Scottish Field Magazine, to the unique Loch Lomond Single Grain, made exclusively with malted barley.
LLG said: "We are confident there is a whisky for everyone to savour and enjoy on our stand as we showcase our award winning Single Malt ranges from Loch Lomond, Inchmurrin and Glen Scotia."
Michter's Distillery make some of the best American whiskeys and always have a place at our festival.
Murray McDavid is a whisky bottler, based at Coleburn Distillery, with a long tradition of practising the art of maturation to produce inspired Scotch whisky.
Maturing in the traditional Dunnage warehouses in Elgin, Murray McDavid now offer the complete range of scotch from vintage single malts and select grains to vatted malts and crafted blends.
They will showcase a selection of 9 different whiskies covering all regions of Scotland. Be sure not to miss Dean Jode’s masterclass where he will introduce you to the Murray McDavid family of Scotch whisky, including some of the older generations.
The NEAT Glass is redefining how best to appreciate whiskies and spirits. By eliminating unwanted alcohol burn, the award-winning NEAT Glass is the only glass that separates ethanol from essences and showcases the full complexity of your drink.
You lucky people! All the way from Tokyo, we are fortunate to have the range of formidable NIKKA whiskies at the National Whisky Festival 2017.
Nikka's founder Masataka Taketsuru studied the art and science of whisky production in Scotland in the early 20th century, taking home with him the knowledge required to establish a distillery that now distills some of the most highly-lauded, award-winning whiskies in the world.
If you've never had a dram of this coveted liquid gold, you'd be well advised to pop along to the festival this January, where you can sample it, along with dozens of other fine whiskies.
Nikka's whisky ambassador will also be holding a masterclass.
We are extremely excited to announce that, straight from the beautiful west coast of India, multiple-award winning Paul John Indian Single Malt will be bringing their range of single malts for you to savour.
Using six-row barley from the foothills of the Himalayas, American white oak bourbon barrels, traditional copper pot stills and the warm coastal climate of Goa, Paul John's whiskies are noted for their maturity & distinct smokiness.
For the event they'll be bringing:
- Classic Select Cask
- Peated Select Cask
- Single Cask Peated
- Single Cask Unpeated
Port Askaig Islay Single Malt Whisky is a range of Islay single malt whiskies that embodies the unique spirit of Islay and its people. Its character brings together the robust smokiness and soft fruitiness found in this beguiling island. Selecting exceptional casks of Islay single malt, they have created a range that they believe will become recognised as an Islay classic.
Each expression within the range is bottled in limited batches. While recognising that each bottling will vary, the aim is to achieve a consistency of quality and character over time.
Individually crafted by Ali Fakourpoor in their workshop at the foot of the Campsie Hills, Reza Wood Designs specialises in innovative whisky barrel gifts and whisky barrel furniture, all carefully crafted from the staves of oak Scotch whisky barrels no longer required by the distilleries.
Taking these staves and lids, they transform them into gorgeous gifts, including clocks, lamps, tables and whisky glass tasting trays. As each stave is different, all their products are unique with some still holding their distinctive whisky scent.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is a club unlike any other. As well as being a place to connect with other like-minded whisky lovers, they are also internationally renowned for their mission: to provide their members with an adventurous and fun journey of discovery of the world's widest collection of single cask whiskies.
Highly regarded as being amongst the smoothest and most approachable of all the malts in the Speyside region, SPEY from Speyside Distillery is a multi-faceted dram which offers the malt drinker a range of ages and styles to suit different times of the day, or indeed, seasons of the year.
They will be bringing Tenne, Trutina, Fumare, Chairman’s Choice, Spey 18 and their Beinn Dubh for you to sample...
An independent bottler of single malt Scotch whiskies as well as single grains, blended malts and even the odd blended whisky too.
Producing limited release batches from selected parcels of stock, their range boasts whiskies from a variety of celebrated distilleries (including some closed distilleries) and each numbered bottle is adorned with a fantastic hand-illustrated label.
Whisky For Girls (And Guys!) bring whisky to you. Interviews, Tastings, Distillery Visits, Art Exhibitions, Music, Adventure, Magic & Wildness!
They will be showcasing Theatre of DRAMS Whisky Symposium/Festival/Event: an educational celebration of whisky, taking place on Islay from 23 - 27 October 2017.
Rachel will also be hosting a special masterclass in each session.
Official whisky water sponsor of National Whisky Festival.
Surely it stands to reason that the best water to use is the water from the same region as the whisky? Using water with similar properties will retain the whisky’s true and original character.
They have produced the most natural waters to complement the malts of Islay, Highland and Speyside, drawn by hand from private sources and bottled for the pleasure of whisky aficionados the world over.
Wemyss Malts are a family run independent bottler of Scotch whisky established in 2005. Utilising years of experience from blending French wine the Wemyss family craft blended Scotch whisky and blended malts from carefully selected stocks.
Each of the blended Scottish malt is named from the flavours and aromas that can be found in the whisky. Wemyss Malts also bottle Lord Elcho Blended Scotch, a variety of rare single cask single malts and Darnley’s View Gin.
In Late 2014 Wemyss Malts opened Kingsbarns Distillery & Visitor Centre in the Kingdom of Fife which will release a classic lowland malt as of mid-2018.
Whilst other highland parts of Europe are being repopulated with once indigenous lupine beasts - Thurso in Caithness has recently become home again to the newly re-built Wolfburn Distillery, after a 150-year absence.
The most northern distillery on mainland Scotland, as its predecessor did, draws its crystal clear water from the trickle of the Wolf Burn that named it.
Come along to the National Whisky Festival on 28th January and see how the taste of Scotland's rugged north shore has been reawakened - it's been a while.
Please drink responsibly.
The festival is well staffed and the utmost effort will be made to take care of you while you are there but should you begin to let it all get to your head, take a break and get something to eat or drink some water.
And remember – just one last drink after you think you might have had enough, is never a great idea.
Can I keep my glass? Yes, you can keep your glass, if you’re like us you’ll probably want to add it to your already extensive collection of beer festival glasses, or perhaps you’re just wanting to get one going.
How will I know what to drink? Luckily, there will be well informed staff at each of the stalls to give you information on each of the beers available, as well as a handy guide.
Is there a dress code? No, thankfully the team at the National Whisky Festival are a relaxed and friendly crowd and you’ll find nearly all forms of clothing are welcomed.
You can find out all about National Whisky Festival of Scotland on social media and through their dedicated website at: