The National Whisky Festival of Scotland is set to return to Glasgow next year, and to celebrate the organisers are giving early bird ticket buyers the chance to win a whisky lover’s dream trip for two to Islay. 

Returning as part of Celtic Connections 2020, those who buy tickets for the 2020 event before Saturday 12 October will automatically be entered into the draw to win an all expenses paid trip to Islay – which will include accommodation, distillery tours and immersive whisky-focused experiences.

Following a successful debut trip to Aberdeen in September, The National Whisky Festival will return to Glasgow’s SWG3 on Saturday 25th January.

National Whisky Festival

The organisers say the festival will span two tasting floors – featuring over 100 whiskies – spread across the TV Studio and Galvanizers rooms in the popular warehouse events complex.

Maintaining the format of the previous festivals in Glasgow, next 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.

• READ MORE: 10 of the best Scotch whiskies for beginners

A spokesperson for the event said: “Each session will feature over 40 exhibitors from some of the most exciting names in the industry, with over 100 different whiskies/expressions to try – all of which are included in the ticket price.

National Whisky Festival

“We will also be working closely with Celtic Connections to curate a bill of incredible live music to soundtrack this immersive celebration of Scottish culture. The line-up as always will be announced gradually in run-up the event but you can be sure it will be well worth the wait.”

On top of the whisky stands and entertainment, the team say guests can enjoy a whisky cocktail bar by Glasgow cocktail and jazz bar, The Blue Arrow, as well as a beer bar and plenty of food options from local restaurants and street food vendors.

Two rooms at the event will be dedicated to the popular masterclass programme – featuring specially-curated seminars and tasting classes hosted by expert exhibitors with the aim of “discovering and honing the skills and knowledge” of those attending on various aspects of whisky tasting, production and culture.

Tickets for each masterclass must be bought separately to festival passes, with full programme information available closer to the event.

The NWF spokesperson added: “As usual with NWF, visitors can rest assured that this is no stuffy, suit and tie affair. From seasoned palettes to adventurous newcomers, absolutely everybody is welcome.

“You won’t be sniffed at for enjoying whisky your way, nor will you have to pay through the nose to sample some of the finest whiskies the world has to offer.

“This is about having fun, coming in from the cold and celebrating our national drink together in great company. And while you don’t have to wear even an inch of tartan, we wouldn’t say no to a kilt or two!”

Tickets for the event cost £35 and will include entry to one of the sessions, an NWF branded Glencairn crystal nosing glass, to use on the day and take home, the official festival programme and two (£5) discount vouchers to be used at the festival bottle shop, provided by Good Spirits Co.

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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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