Spirit of Speyside announces the return of popular trio of festivals for 2020

The Spirit of Speyside events team has announced that its trio of popular festivals will return in 2020 for what will be its biggest celebration yet.

Published 31st Jan 2020
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The three festivals, which will take place from April include the ever-popular Spirit of Speyside that runs from the 29 April until 4 May; the Gin Experience, which runs from the 10-12 July and Distilled - a whisky festival in Elgin Town Hall from 28-29 August.

Last year the Spirit of Speyside whisky, gin and food and drink celebrations welcomed several thousand local and international visitors to the region.

Spirit of Speyside

A highlight of any whisky lovers year - the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival will feature over 700 ticketed whisky-themed activities with the full six-day programme being announced next month when tickets will also go on sale.

The huge range of events will include something for everyone, appealing to the whisky novice, the budding master blender or those simply
interested in learning more about Scotland's national drink.

This year’s programme will include behind the scenes distillery tours, food pairing masterclasses right through to lively music events and ceilidhs.

Speyside Gin Experience


Picture: Speyside Gin Experience

Following a successful launch last year, the new Spirit of Speyside Gin Experience will return to the Speyside region to celebrate its growing number of local gin producers.

Visitors will be able to try new expressions, explore innovative cocktails with top bartenders and enjoy a variety of street food.

At a time when gin sales at home and abroad are now worth more than £2 billion for the UK (WSTA 2019), and with Scotland producing over 70 per cent of this, the summer Gin Experience provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate this spirit.

Spirit of Speyside: Distilled

Picture: Copper Dog blending session

This weekend festival will bring the region’s world-leading drinks producers together under one roof at Elgin Town Hall.

Whether it’s rubbing shoulders with master blenders, taking part in intimate masterclasses or feasting on great local produce, visitors will be immersed in Speyside’s world-famous food and drink larder.

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Lauren Mustard, Events Coordinator at The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, said: “Spirit of Speyside’s trio of drinks festivals will return this year in what will be our most significant celebrations yet, letting visitors experience first hand why Speyside is the global epicentre of distilling.

“The majority of Speyside’s tourists are drawn here by its whisky, but with the increase in gin production and Speyside’s larder becoming widely celebrated, our revered food and drink offering is becoming a major draw, which is great to showcase and celebrate through our three festivals.

“In addition to our flagship Whisky Festival, 2020 will also see the return of the Gin Experience and Distilled, a showcase of Speyside’s range of spirits.

"We look forward to welcoming visitors from across Scotland, as well as from across the globe, to enjoy the very best of Scotland in Speyside.”

First launched in 1999, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has become an iconic event in the whisky calendar appealing to both the whisky curious and connoisseurs in a region that has become one of the fastest growing tourist destinations.

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As well as being home to the highest concentration of distilleries of all whisky regions in the world, Speyside also produces the largest volume of whisky, as well as an increasingly wide range of spirits including gin.

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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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