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9 unique events not to miss at Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is back.
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is back.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival returns for its first in-person event in two years and I for one am looking forward to enjoying a dram or two.

The thing about this event though is, that even if you aren’t a big whisky drinker, there are plenty of non-whisky and unique events to try out.

However, if you do love a nip or two of Scotland’s national drink, the festival which takes place from Wednesday April 27 to Monday May 2 is the place to be.

With more than 600 events taking place, I’ve picked some of my must-try experiences when visiting.


Whisky and seafood experience

A new experience for the 2022 festival, this unique collaboration sees two local family-owned businesses, Benromach Distillery and The Bothy Bistro in Burghead, showcase some of the best hand-crafted single malts paired with the freshest seafood from the Moray coast.

Guests will hop on a private mini bus at 10.30am from Aberlour and head off to visit the distillery for a tour at 11.30am. This will be followed by a tasting of six expressions paired with six seafood dishes in The Old Railway Station by the sea in Hopeman. Guests will be dropped back at Aberlour via Elgin Station at 4pm.

Price: £125

Date: April 29, 2022

For tickets click here.

Benromach Distillery.

Raise a barrel

Have you ever fancied learning how to raise your own barrel? Well now you can at this event at The Balvenie Cooperage. Join Ian McDonald for a very special opportunity to apprentice under the cooper who joined The Balvenie in 1969 and celebrated his 50th year with the distillery in 2019.

You’ll also get the chance to share a dram with him and hear a story or two.

The event takes place on April 30 from 10am at The Balvenie Distillery near Dufftown.

Price: £100

Date: April 30, 2022

For tickets click here.


Electric drams – an E-bike tour

Right to Roam presents the leisurely “Tour de Speyside Way E-bike Cruise” with the Dram Queen, who is known locally as Ann Miller. Ann is well-known in the whisky world and has decades of knowledge about the industry to hand.

This three-hour pleasure cycle along the Speyside Way takes in the beautiful scenery and finishes with a special dram by the Telford Bridge.

The hire of the electric bikes is included, and they do most of the hard work, making cruising the Speyside Way a joy.

Price: £55

Date: April 28 to May 1, 2022

For tickets click here.

Ann Miller.

The Still House breakfast at Glenfarclas Distillery

Get your morning off to the right start with this breakfast event. Enjoy a traditional full Scottish breakfast with a Glenfarclas twist as it is served up to you inside the iconic Still House.

You’ll even get to sample Glenfarclas’ 105 haggis.

Distillery manager Callum Fraser and visitor centre manager Matthew Porritt will wake you up with their morning banter and some whisky.

Price: £25

Date: May 1, 2022

For tickets click here.


Star Wars and whisky

This is a new event from the Dowans Hotel for 2022 with 25% of all ticket sales going to Cancer Research in memory of the ultimate Star Wars and whisky fan, Brett Ferencz, whose Scotch Trooper alter ego always made people smile!

A whisky tasting with a difference, festivalgoers will see each whisky paired to a location around the Star Wars universe.

Price: £30

Date: April 29, 2022

For tickets click here.


Whisky and chocolate pairing with Martine Nouet

Enjoy expertly matured whiskies from Gordon & MacPhail that have been perfectly paired with chocolates selected by French author and journalist Martine Nouet.

Martine writes exclusively about food and spirits and is a pioneer of matching food and whisky. The event takes place at Gordon & MacPhail Retail in Elgin at 2pm.

Price: £45

Date: April 30, 2022

For tickets click here.

Whisky and chocolate are both on the cards.

Behind-the-scenes tour

GlenAllachie Distillery’s master distiller, Billy Walker, spends endless hours carefully analysing the spirit within each and every cask maturing across the firms 16 on-site warehouses. Crafting perfection, he ensures there is the right balance of wood and distillery influence.

See the distillery as you have never seen it before on this access all areas tour.

Price:£60

Date: 27 April to May 1, 2022

For tickets click here.


Whisky dinner at The Bank Restaurant

Join world-renowned French chef, resident of Islay and author Martine Nouet at The Bank Restaurant for a whisky dinner.

This four-course dinner will be matched with the very best whiskies from one of the largest selections of privately held casks in the world.

Co-hosted with Ian Logan from Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Ltd, the dinner will be an opportunity to enjoy not only great whiskies but also a wonderful menu created by Martine specially for this dinner.

Price: £80

Date: 30 April, 2022

For tickets click here.


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