Glasgow's Whisky Festival makes a triumphant return to Hampden

Around a thousand whisky fans raised a dram or two at the weekend as the Glasgow's Whisky Festival returned to Hampden for the second year running.

Published 15th Nov 2016
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Now in its seventh year, the festival moved to Scotland's national football stadium following the closure of the Arches in 2015.

With fifty-two stands showcasing whiskies from all over Scotland and the rest of the world, as well as some of the world’s best rums, gins and liqueurs, organisers say it was their biggest event yet.

The festival, which aims to put Glasgow on the whisky map with an emphasis on Glasgow’s closest distilleries and the independent bottlers that belong to this great city, was organised by Mark Connelly, owner of Swally Shirts and Whisky Whisky Whisky;  Julie Hamilton, founding member and secretary of Glasgow’s Whisky Club; and Paul McDonagh, owner of the world famous whisky bar, the Bon Accord.

Members of Glasgow’s Whisky Club were also on hand on the day to answer questions and help out where possible, alongside the producers themselves, from some of the country's biggest distilleries to newer brands and independent bottlers.

Some of the biggest names in the industry attended, including established brands like William Grant's, Whyte & Mackay, Macallan and Gordon and MacPhail, offering guests a chance to sample some of their best and newest expressions.

Exciting up and coming distilleries like BenRiach, Glendronach and Benromach also brought their stands to the event.

The Good Spirits Company were also on hand to provide attendees with the chance to purchase some of their favourite bottles of whisky from the day itself.

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Guests were given the chance to talk to the producers and ambassadors of the some of the biggest brands, learning how they make their whisky, where they take their inspiration from and why their products are worth trying.

They also able to rub shoulders with whisky celebrities like renowned whisky writer Charles MacLean and YouTube star Ralfy.

Some of the newest distilleries in Scotland also had stalls showcasing their wares including the Glasgow Distilling Company, Eden Mill and Kingsbarns.

Organiser and co-founder Mark Connelly said: "Yeah, we're very pleased with how it turned out. It was definitely our biggest festival yet and all the feedback was that it was a really good crowd. Everyone had a relaxed and enjoyable time and we're starting to plan for an even bigger event next year."

Julie Hamilton, co-founder and secretary of Glasgow’s Whisky Club added: "With seven years and eight events down we reckon this was our best event yet. We had round about 1000 people through the door between exhibitors, tickets and our guests.

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"We received great feedback from the guests on the day - we reckon every single person there had a brilliant time. It was great to see new faces this year as well as our core regulars - we are looking forward to next year already."

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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