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Spirit of Speyside 2023: Dates, tickets and events - as whisky festival returns

Internationally renowned Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has announced its return in spring 2023.

Published: January 23, 2023
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Scotland's whisky festival season will be here before you know it, with the biggest festival, Spirit of Speyside, gearing up for its 2023 run.

When is the 2023 Spirit of Speyside Festival?

Taking place from 26 April to 1 May, this annual celebration of Scotland’s national drink has become one of the largest events of its kind anywhere in the world, bringing thousands of visitors to Speyside each year since its creation in 1999.

With ticket previews available from Wednesday 25 January, this year’s event will offer a bumper programme of whisky-inspired events designed to entice and inform the most experienced of connoisseurs, to the whisky novice.

What's on at this year's Spirit of Speyside Festival?

spirit of speyside

From distilleries to village halls, to local whisky bars, historic castles and the great outdoors, a range of events will take place throughout the scenic region of Speyside – the biggest whisky producing region in Scotland – located in the Moray area in the north-east of the country.

To mark the distillery’s 125th Anniversary, Speyburn is joining the Spirit of Speyside Festival and opening its doors to the public for the first time.

During the festival, Speyburn will be running two tours, three times a day, led by its distillery manager and senior brand ambassador.

Guests will discover the history and heritage of Speyburn, and of course, enjoy a dram or two of the award-winning single malt.

With over 500 events planned for this year’s Festival, other highlights include:

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  • Raise A Barrel: Join Balvenie Distillery’s expert cooper Ian McDonald for a morning learning to raise your own barrel. Afterwards share a dram with Ian and hear a story or two.
  • Tamnavulin Discovery Tour and Tasting Experience: Join Distillery Manager Leon for a guided tour and explore where they craft their exceptional single malt whisky, usually closed to the public. Then enjoy a guided tasting of 4 Tamnavulin expressions and their perfect pairing, complete with a signature Speyside cocktail.
  • Keith & Dufftown railway "Dram Tram" evening journey: Take a two-hour evening return train journey from Dufftown station and sample five specially curated whiskies associated with the railway’s original route stations Dufftown, Drummuir, Auchindachy, Earlsmill, and Keith.
  • 19 Holes of Golf and Whisky with Glenfarclas: An exclusive opportunity to play 18 holes of golf at the Elgin Golf Club Championship Course with Glenfarclas manager Callum Fraser, enjoy a tasting in the clubhouse before a two course meal provided by Hardhillock Bar and Bistro.

George McNeil, Chairman of The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, said: “Whether you’re a dram expert or just entering the world of whisky for the first time, we will be delighted to welcome you to Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in spring.

“Taking place across Elgin, to Kingussie, to Forres, our comprehensive programme of events brings the journey of Scottish whisky to life for visitors, creating truly world-class and unforgettable experiences set among spectacular scenery.

“Our visitors travel from as many as 35 different countries, bringing everyone together over a shared passion and interest for whisky. I can think of no better antidote to the various challenges of the past few years.”

Ticket information

Tickets for the festival’s top events will be available at the time of launch on 27 January, with previews beginning the 25 January.

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Visitors are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment and ensure their spot in popular and exclusive activities.

For more information, visit the Spirit of Speyside website.

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 as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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