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What you need to know about Distilled food and drink festival in Elgin to make the most of it

Distilled will make its return this September.
Distilled will make its return this September.

If you love food and drink then you’ve come to the right place as the Spirit of Speyside’s Distilled festival makes its return later this year.

Taking place for the first time in three years in Moray at the Elgin Town Hall from Friday 2 to Saturday September 3, the event will highlight the very best artisanal food and drink the region has to offer.

Distilled is organised by the team behind the popular The Spirit of Speyside
Whisky Festival, one of the world’s largest whisky events.

A representative pouring Glen Moray whisky.

Tickets to the two-day event are now on sale and organisers are looking forward to welcoming fans back to the venue for an additional day, extending the event’s usual two-day offering.

More than 1,500 visitors are expected at Distilled and there will 35 plus local vendors to purchase goods from.

What time does it take place?

Running over three days, the event is on from Friday evening until Saturday evening.

The key times are: 

Friday September 2: 6pm – 10pm
Saturday September 3: Noon to 4pm and 6pm – 10pm

How much are tickets?

Tickets are priced at £25 per session, however those attending can also purchase tickets to the masterclasses that will take place during the event.

Ticket holders will have the chance to enjoy six different samples including those from world famous distilleries during the event.

Festivalgoers at the event.

What are the masterclasses?

Distilled will also include a series of add on Masterclasses in which visitors can gain a deeper understanding of whisky and gin with tutored events led by some of the industry’s leading names.


Exploring the breadth and depth of Connoisseurs Choice (6.30-7.15pm)

Stephen Rankin, director of prestige and Master of the Quaich from Gordon & MacPhail, will lead you through a range of four single cask bottlings from the iconic Connoisseurs Choice range, including a new release and a whisky from the top tier of the Connoisseurs Choice range. All attendees shall also receive a gift voucher to be redeemed over the weekend.

Price: £40

Stephen Rankin of Gordon and MacPhail.

Age matters v cask matters (7.45-8.30pm)

Sample six pairs of Speyside’s finest whiskies (each 10ml, total 12 x 10ml) in a blind tasting.

Nose them, taste them, and compare them. The final step is choosing your favourite and you might be surprised when they reveal what the samples are…

Price: £25

 Caorunn Gin Distillery Botanical Deconstructed Nosing and Tasting (9pm-9.45pm)

Learn how the Caorunn magic is produced, while testing your taste buds in this nosing and tasting class.

Price: £25

Saturday afternoon

 Afternoon Tea by Torta (Noon-1.30pm and 2pm-3.30pm)

Torta, a café based in Findhorn will serve up an exciting selection of sandwiches and cakes as part of their delicious afternoon tea.

Price: Afternoon tea with cocktail £27 and £23 without

Upcoming Releases with Iain Allan, Global Brand Ambassador (12.30pm-1.15pm)

Join Iain Allan, Glen Moray’s global brand ambassador, for a tasting of some incredible limited edition and single cask bottlings due to hit the shelves over the next few months.

This is a chance to get a sneak preview of some UK and distillery exclusives.

Price: £25

Pairing drams with nibbles by The Dram Queen and The Dowans Hotel (1.45pm-2.30pm)

Discover a selection of Speyside drams hand picked by Ann Miller, The Dram Queen, that have been matched to delicious savoury and sweet nibbles created by the team at the Dowans Hotel, Aberlour.

Price: £25

Ann Miller, The Dram Queen.

The Glenlivet Single Cask Tasting (3-345pm)

Explore exclusive single cask editions from the Distillery Reserve Collection in this tutored tasting.

This is a rare opportunity to taste side-by-side how each cask can create its own unique characteristics and will allow you to understand the importance of cask selection.

Price: £25

Saturday evening

Roehill Springs – Come Fly with Us! (6.30-7.15pm)

This fun tasting will see owners Duncan and Shirley reveal all about Roehill Springs. Join them for a welcome cocktail specially created using one of their award-winning gins and then be expertly guided through a nosing and tasting four gins, each paired with suggested mixer and garnish.

Masterclass participants will receive a 10% discount at the Rosehill Springs stall.

Price: £25

The Art of Maturation with Dean Jode, Head of Whisky Creation for Murray McDavid (7.45pm-8.30pm)

Dean Jode, head of Murray McDavid’s Whisky Creation team, will guide you through some of his favourite maturation techniques, showcasing a wonderful balance of tradition and innovation.

Price: £25

The Seasons of BenRiach with Stewart Buchanan (9pm-9.45pm)

Speyside’s BenRiach Distillery boasts three distinct styles – classic unpeated, Highland peated and triple distilled.

Enjoy a tasting of diverse flavour with their eclectic range of cask types from around the world hosted by Stewart Buchanan, the brand’s global ambassador.

Price: £25

BenRiach distillery, Elgin

What drinks firms will be exhibiting?

From gin to whisky, to everything in between, you’re guaranteed to find something you’ve not tried at Distilled.

The list of exhibitors includes:

  • Chivas with The Glenlivet, Aberlour and Strathisla
  • Gordon and Macphail
  • Caorunn Gin
  • Speyburn Distillery
  • Diageo with Cardhu and Cragganmore
  • Glenfarclas Distillery
  • Glenallachie with White Heather and MacNairs
  • Speyside Distillers with Spey, Beinn Dubh and Byron’s Gin
  • Benriach Distillery
  • Red Door Gin
  • Benromach Distillery
  • Glen Moray Distillery
  • Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky with Black Bull and The Octave
  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
  • Gordon Castle Walled Garden
  • William Grant with Glenfiddich and The Balvenie
  • Murray McDavid
  • Roehill Springs Distillery
  • Spey Valley Brewery
  • Slanjii
  • Twisted Willow
  • The Cocktail Den
  • Fife Whisky Festival
  • Angel’s Share
  • Spirit of Speyside: Merchandise

Will there be food stalls?

Of course. You’ll be able to tuck into a variety of dishes and cuisines at Distilled.

Bonbon Berries will be there for those with a sweet tooth, as will Findorn café Torta with some baked goodies. Simpsons of Buckie have their delicious ice cream with them so be sure to pay them a visit.

Danny Grant is making a go of it with his food truck in Nae Bad Food in Elgin.

Qismat Street Food will be in attendance and will be serving up high quality Indian dishes, and Moray Hog Roast will have a range of baps with various fillings to tuck into. They are best known for their pork rolls with stuffing and apple sauce, so be sure to grab one of those if you’re feeling peckish.

For comfort food lovers, Nae Bad Food will be on hand, too, with their dirty fries, wings and more.

While it isn’t food, The Cocktail Joint will also be fixing up delicious drinks for everyone to enjoy.

Other non-food and drink exhibitors who will be there include: 

  • Bruce Stevenson
  • Highland Bespoke Oak
  • Mulderie Wood
  • The Artist’s Studio
  • McTears
  • Ash Interiors Boutique

For more local food and drink news…