A celebration of Moray’s whisky industry drew to a close with enthusiasts from across the globe naming the malts they have most enjoyed sampling over the past few days.
Each year, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival brings thousands of visitors flocking to the area from far and wide.
But for the 18th instalment of the event, which ran from last Thursday until yesterday, people were able to join in the fun without travelling.
Whisky fans in Germany, Canada and the Netherlands staged their own tasting sessions in conjunction with the Speyside bash.
And, having spent much of the past week refining their palettes, those international participants helped judge the pick of the region’s output.
The winners were announced during a high-spirited awards ceilidh at Knockando Distillery on Sunday night.
Aberlour 12 won the 12-year-old and under category, while the title for malts aged 13 to 20 years went to Glenfiddich 15.
In the 21-year-old and over category, Mannochmore 25 Special Release topped the poll.
The favourite whisky across the eight finalists was the Macallan 30 year old Sherry Cask, which was shortlisted in the 21 years and over category.
James Campbell, chairman of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, said the sessions abroad would help further the extravaganza’s international reputation.
Mr Campbell said: “Whisky recognises no boundaries and we were delighted to be able to hold judging sessions in Canada, Germany and The Netherlands this year, spreading the name of the festival further and complementing the tasting events in Speyside.
“This year saw the biggest number of votes cast, with whisky lovers at home and abroad using their noses, knowledge and taste buds to vote.”
The malts had previously been shortlisted by a panel of industry leaders, acclaimed writers and specialist retailers.
This year, the festival comprised almost 500 different events.
Tours and tasting events were held in Kingussie to the south, Forres to the west and Buckie to the east.
More information about the event is available at www.spiritofspeyside.com