Glen Scotia unveils line up for 2021 virtual festival

The Campbeltown distillery will be selling tasting packs for fans to enjoy at home.

Published 24th May 2021
Updated 24 th May 2021

Glen Scotia has revealed the schedule for this year’s virtual malts festival which will go live on 7 June.

For the second year running, the festival will be run entirely digitally, with whisky fans from all around the world able to access a range of different events and content by visiting their website.  

Master distiller Iain McAlister will be joined by a host of famous faces from the world of whisky to help bring the festival to life on screen.

This year’s packed programme includes a brand new interactive virtual tour of the distillery and a virtual tasting of this year’s festival edition, hosted by whisky historian Charlie MacLean.

Whisky experts Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison will also be broadcasting a live tasting of Glen Scotia’s core range while exploring historic tales from the 'whiskiest place in the world'.

The brand will also reveal a new digital photography exhibition celebrating the distillery’s rich heritage.

To celebrate the festival, Glen Scotia will also be releasing a limited number of Dunnage Tasting Boxes which come complete with access to a private dunnage tasting video, hosted by master distiller Iain McAlister.

The dunnage tasting is always one of the most keenly anticipated events in the Campbeltown Malts Festival calendar.

This year the tasting explores the influence of casks on the final liquid, with a particular focus on Bourbon, refill American Oak and European Oak finishes.

Only 600 Dunnage Tasting Boxes will be released in the UK ahead of the festival,  each containing five 25 ml samples (four of which are cask strength). 

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A further 2,500 tasting boxes will be distributed to markets around the world. 

The Glen Scotia Dunnage Tasting Box will be available to order from online priced at £50 (including free delivery).

The tasting boxes will also be available from The Whisky Shop.

Dates for the diary

Whisky experts Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison will be hosting a live event on Wednesday 16 June at 7pm.

During this event, the duo will lead a tasting of some of Glen Scotia’s favourite single malts including Glen Scotia Double Cask, Glen Scotia 15 Years Old and Glen Scotia Victoriana.  

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As well as the tasting, Neil and Joel will host a special discussion about Campbeltown’s fascinating history, including tales of illicit distilling and its Victorian heritage.

A 5cl gift pack containing each of the three expressions is available to by online for those wanting to join in with the tasting.

A third tasting experience will be hosted by renowned whisky expert Charlie MacLean who will introduce the tasting of the Campbeltown Malts Festival Edition for 2021, which this year takes the form of an incredibly special 10-Year-Old Limited Edition Single Malt with a Bordeaux red wine cask finish.

Following in the footsteps of the last year’s limited edition which was awarded ‘Product Launch of the Year’ at the Scottish whisky awards in 2021, this year’s limited edition has experienced high demand since its release earlier this year.

However, 200 bottles have been reserved for the festival launch, and will be available online on 7 June for anyone still hoping to get their hands on a bottle.

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Campbeltown was known as the whisky capital of the world during the Victorian era and was home to over 30 working distilleries. 

The annual Campbeltown Malts Festival is a celebration of Scotland’s fifth and smallest malt producing region and its whisky making heritage. 

Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic the Campbeltown Malts Festival has not been able to go as planned, however the Glen Scotia Virtual Festival is an ideal way for fans to enjoy a touch of the festival spirit and explore everything that Campbeltown and Glen Scotia distillery has to offer.

Founded in 1832, Glen Scotia reflects centuries of craftsmanship and experience associated with the region and its award-winning whiskies are renowned for their distinctive maritime influence and Campbeltown character. 

Iain McAlister, distillery manager at Glen Scotia, said: “We were blown away by the response we had to last year’s virtual festival, which saw us host 10,000 visitors from across the world – five times more than we would usually expect to see in Campbeltown ordinarily.

“This year we have developed our virtual line up even further with some well-known friends of the distillery joining us to host some of the sessions and really special interactive experiences for our guests to explore that will make them feel that they are right here with us.

“We’re really looking forward to it, and we hope that fans of our whisky, both old and new, will come and celebrate with us.”

For further information about Glen Scotia and to take part in the online festival visit their website from 7 June.  

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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