A new virtual whisky festival, which took place during lockdown, has raised thousands for The Drinks Trust charity.

Whisky educational platform OurWhisky has announced that its inaugural virtual whisky festival has raised over £12,000 for The Drinks Trust, a charity providing care and support to drinks industry professionals.

The online festival, which ran from 30th April to 21st May, united whisky makers from around the world with thousands of whisky lovers through a series of virtual tastings on social media.

Over 200 tasting packs were sent out to ticket holders, while more than 15,000 people tuned in to four live sessions as distillers and blenders guided viewers through their whiskies

Becky Paskin, co-founder of OurWhisky who hosted each session, said: “We’re thrilled that the very first OurWhisky Virtual Whisky Festival has been such a huge success, and raised an incredible amount for The Drinks Trust.

“Back in March, when the UK was beginning to lock down, we felt compelled to do whatever we could to help those in the hospitality industry whose livelihoods were going to be severely affected.

“We thought what better way to help those most in need than to bring people together virtually through a shared love of whisky.

“I hope the funds raised will go some way to helping those who desperately need it at the moment.

“I’m hugely grateful to everyone who purchased a ticket and to every brand who has supported the festival through their very generous donations.”

The festival has been supported by numerous whisky producers, including The Chapelgate Whiskey Co., Starward, The Lakes Distillery, Kavalan, Michter’s, The Glenmorangie Co., Whyte & Mackay, William Grant & Sons, Irish Distillers, Remy Cointreau, Edrington-Beam Suntory UK and Diageo.

It has also been aided by Dumfries-based bottler Claxton’s, and whisky club The Dram Team.

Dr Bill Lumsden, director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks at The Glenmorangie Company, said: “We are delighted to have been part of OurWhisky’s brilliant online whisky festival, which has raised an incredible amount of money for The Drinks Trust.

“The initiative created by Becky is a fantastic example of how – with determination and tenacity – a virtual event can bring people and brands together to enjoy great whisky, while raising money for a crucial industry cause.”

Ross Carter, CEO of The Drinks Trust, said: “We are impressed by the work that people have put into their fundraising initiatives and Becky’s series of whisky tastings is a perfect example.

“She has brought whisky to a new audience and raised a significant amount of money. We are really grateful for her hard work and for all the kind donations.”

What is OurWhisky?

The festival marked the start of a new phase for OurWhisky. Launched in 2018 as a social media movement to challenge the outdated perception that whisky is a ‘man’s drink’, OurWhisky is evolving into an educational platform.

While continuing to represent the face of the modern whisky drinker, OurWhisky’s new website (which will launch later this year) and social channels will also be dedicated to helping curious consumers navigate the world of whisky in an accessible, easy-to-follow and fun way, providing all the tools and knowledge needed to find whiskies to fall in love with.

Every festival session is still available to watch on OurWhisky’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.

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About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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