Tickets are about to go on sale for a brand new drinks festival that unites, for the very first time, Speyside’s famous whiskies with the region’s award-winning brewers, gin makers and food producers.

Spirit of Speyside: Distilled, from the world-renowned Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, will bring together an array of great flavours through drinks, food and masterclasses contained within one weekend and at one venue.

The ticketed event takes place for the first time at Elgin Town Hall from September 9th-11th.

Entry to each session will be limited and demand for tickets, which will go on sale at 9am on Friday, July 15, is expected to be strong.

Food and Drink

While whisky is the region’s most famous export, Spirit of Speyside: Distilled brings together new partners to champion the area’s food and drink, and masterclasses will offer some very special experiences to sign up for.

There will be the chance to try some very special whiskies, gins and beers; learn about pairing whisky with food; join a mini-mixology session using botanical gins and liqueurs or enjoy cocktail making demonstrations.

As visitors browse round, they’ll meet Speyside’s drinks industry stars, people passionate about their products, including experienced distillery staff and brewers who will talk through their ranges and offer samples.

Having sampled, visitors will be able to purchase their favorite bottles to take home through a retail shop organised by specialist outlet The Whisky Shop Dufftown.

The experience will be different to that delivered by the five-day Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival which offers over 500 different events at venues across Speyside in the first weekend of May.

Organisers believe the smaller, centrally located event will appeal to those who want to enjoy and learn more about Speyside’s whiskies, gins and beers but don’t want to plan an itinerary to attend a larger event at many different venues.

Pery Zakeri, festival manager, says: “If you could serve up Speyside in a glass then Distilled has to be as close as it comes.

“We hope to attract a new, younger audience because Distilled will have a broader appeal and will offer a unique chance to see whisky companies side by side in their home region.

“Speyside is regarded as the malt whisky capital of the world but whatever your drink of choice, come and have your eyes opened to just how many different producers there are here. Grab your friends, book your tickets and head to Elgin for a great weekend.”

Producers

Producers in attendance will include:

Representing Speyside whisky –  The Glenlivet, Aberlour, Benromach, Cardhu, Cragganmore, Glen Moray, Gordon & Macphail, Glen Grant, Glenfiddich, The Macallan, Strathisla, Murray McDavid, The Balvenie, Speyburn and Tomintoul.

Gin makers – Caorunn, Gordon Castle and El:Gin and fruit infused gin company Berry Good.

Local craft beer companies – Windswept Brewing, Spey Valley Brewery and Speyside Craft Brewery.

Speyside’s top food companies will also be in attendance, including Walkers Shortbread Ltd, Baxters, Associated Seafoods, Ashers Bakers, Macleans Highland Bakery, Cairngorm Leaf and Bean, Berry Good, Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier, Balvenie St Ice Cream and Aunt Marie’s Kitchen.

Tickets will go on sale at 9am on Friday 15 th July (priced £20) and will include entry, a lanyard, vouchers for five 10ml tasting samples of gin or whisky, a voucher for a tasting measure of a beer, a Glencairn crystal nosing and tasting glass and a light snack, featuring the best of local produce, prepared by event caterers, Good Highland Food.

There are limited places for masterclasses, full details of which are available on the Spirit of Speyside: Distilled website – www.distilled.scot – where tickets can also be bought.

• You can keep up to date with all the news about Distilled on social media at www.facebook.com/distilledscot on Twitter and Instagram @distilledscot. 

About The Author

Sean Murphy

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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