National Whisky Festival 2020: Tickets, date & everything you need to know

The National Whisky Festival of Scotland is back for its fourth year as part of Celtic Connections.

Published 8th Jan 2020
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

When is the National Whisky Festival taking place?

The National Whisky Festival will take place on 25th January at SWG3 in Glasgow's west end, and will be set over two floors in the popular warehouse events complex.

What time does it start?

Maintaining the format of previous festivals, this year’s edition will offer two extensive three-and-a-half hour sessions of whisky tastings and entertainment - beginning at 12pm and 4.15pm respectively.

Each session will feature over 40 exhibitors, including some big names in the industry.

Festival goers can look forward to trying over 100 different whiskies/expressions  - all of which are
included in the ticket price.

How much are tickets?

Tickets are available now and are priced at £35.

They include: Entry to one of two NWF sessions on Saturday 25 January (12pm-3.30pm or 4.15pm-7.45pm); branded Glencairn crystal nosing glass to use on the day and take home; access to over 100 different whisky samples; the official festival programme;  two (£5) discount vouchers to be used at the festival bottle shop, provided by Good Spirits Co.

As well as this they include access to masterclasses within your session (to be booked separately) and a chance to hear some live music programmed by Celtic Connections.

Who is exhibiting?

Among the first exhibitors announced for this month’s festival are: The Glasgow Distillery Company who bring Glasgow’s first ever peated single malt with them, alongside a broad range of exciting expressions.

They’ll be joined by familiar festival exhibitors such as A D Rattray, SPEY, Paul John, Benromach and the newly re-branded Arran single malt.

There will be some anticipated debut appearances too, including Northern Irish distillers Hinch who make their inaugural journey to NWF alongside Ullapool’s Highland Liquor Co. - purveyors of an impressive range of new Highland gins including flagship brand, Seven Crofts Gin.

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Full list of exhibitors 

AD Rattray // Arran Single Malt // Benromach // Buck and Birch // Distillery Tours // Douglas Laing & Co. // Fettercairn // Fiodh // Glenfiddich // Glen Moray // Glen Scotia // Hinch Distillery // Islay Whisky Academy // Isle of Raasay // Konrad Borkowski Photography // Lady of the Glen // Loch Lomond // Murray McDavid // NcNean // Paul John Indian Single Malt // Reza Wood Designs // Scotch Malt Whisky Society // Seven Crofts Gin // SPEY // The Clydeside Distillery // The Dalmore // The Glasgow Distillery Co // The Glenturret // The White Goose // Tullibardine // Uncle Nearest // Wemyss Malts // Wester Spirit Co. // Whisky Works // Wolfburn Whisky


Following their popularity at recent events there will be two rooms this year dedicated to the masterclass programme.

These specially-curated seminars and tasting classes are hosted by expert exhibitors with the aim of discovering and honing skills and knowledge of various aspects of whisky tasting, production and culture.

Tickets for each masterclass must be bought separately to festival passes.

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What food and drink will be available?

There will be a whisky cocktail bar by Glasgow cocktail and jazz bar, The Blue Arrow Jazz Club, offering visitors the chance to sample a selection of expertly-mixed variations on our national drink.

As well as this there will be a beer bar and plenty of delicious, hearty food from local restaurants and street food vendors to see you right after all those drams.

Pop up food and drink stalls announced so far include: Babu Bombay Street Kitchen Chocolate Tree, Hawkhead Whisky Smoked, Hen of the Woods and Ovenbird Coffee.

Live music

This year the festival organisers will once again be working closely with Celtic Connections to curate a bill of  live music to soundtrack this immersive celebration of Scottish culture.

The line-up as always will be announced gradually in run-up the event, for more info please click here.

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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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