Over 2,000 ticket holders celebrated the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Limited Edition when it made a welcome return last week after the pandemic.

The world-famous Speyside region – the global epicentre of Scotland’s national drink – drew in both local and international crowds, paving the way for a stellar line up of events in 2022. The local economy also received a welcome boost after such a long period of lockdown in 2021.

The festival featured new and existing events. One which proved to be popular was the Scottish Aperitivo Hour, hosted at Craigellachie Bridge by the John Dewar’s & Sons brand ambassadors, Matthew Cordiner, Gary Ross and Mike McGinty. New and old friends shared a dram of Aultmore or Craigellachie while embracing the beautiful views of Speyside.

Now in its 22nd year, the six-day festival followed a virtual event lineup back in April due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year marks the final chapter of James Campbell’s 10-year reign as chair of the festival. George McNeil will now officially take over the position and is working with the team to plan an action packed calendar of events for next year which will see the festival return to its usual format from 27 April to 2 May 2022.

Speaking of the festival’s success, George McNeil, chairman, commented: 

“With over 260 successful events it has been fantastic to bring the best of our iconic whisky region to the public.  It’s been a challenging time for everybody and to see people celebrating all things Scotch in person rather than just via a screen has  been incredible.

“We are now even more excited for the 2022 festival which will take place next spring.  We have plans in place to make that the biggest and best programme of events yet, so watch this space.

“I’m also very proud to officially take the reins from James Campbell who has achieved so much, getting the festival to where it is today.  I wish him the best of luck with his future endeavours and will look forward to catching up with him over a dram at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2022.”

James Campbell added:

“Spirit of Speyside is always about whisky, music, food and fun and brings together so many of our local companies to create an amazing selection of events.  This, combined with the renowned Speyside hospitality has proven a winning formula over the years.”

There were a multitude of events across the Limited Edition programme. Chivas showcased cocktail skills providing five freshly made cocktails at its Strathisla Distillery Cocktail evening and distillery manager Keith Cruickshank held a tasting at Gordon and McPhail to showcase the new Benromach 40 Year Old which ticket holders described as a remarkable dram.

The Dowans Hotel chefs constructed an afternoon tea on the flavour profile of a Glenallachie 12 Year Old, this consisted of strapatsada, butternut squash and chilli soup with a herb cracker, along with scones, rhubarb and ginger cupcake, coca cola pie and a burnt butter caramelised and chocolate almond blondie.

A new addition to the festival event selection was Drams in the Dark hosted at Glen Moray Distillery. Ticket holders explored the distillery at night and listened to production stories around an open fire to set the atmosphere.

To find out more about the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, please visit the website.

About the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

First launched in 1999, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival’s annual celebration of Scotland’s national drink has developed into one of the largest events of its kind anywhere in the world. The festival is a mecca for the curious beginner and the whisky connoisseur alike. Over the past 20 years, festival events have taken place throughout Speyside, the biggest whisky producing region in Scotland, located in the Moray area in the north-east of the county between Aberdeen and Inverness.

Over the years, the festival has developed close links with many Speyside businesses and communities who help to fund the festival. It is a true team effort to deliver an ever-improving range of events and services to make the festival a truly unforgettable experience.

The company is limited by guarantee, it runs the festival with a voluntary board of directors drawn from key areas of the whisky industry along with other local businesses and tourism organisations.

For further information please visit:

Website:  www.spiritofspeyside.com
Facebook: WhiskyFestival
Instagram: spirit_speyside
Twitter:  spirit_speyside

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