Whisky Month, a part of the Year of Food & Drink 2015 festival, is a unique program of events celebrating Scotland’s national drink.
The month begins with the annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in the Highlands, which will feature a series of whisky-themed events and tastings. The festival has been around since 1999, and has been attracting international whisky lovers since. Events include concerts, a whisky-infused muffin and cupcake bakeoff, a whisky cocktail masterclass, and more. That is hardly the only local whisky festival. The Spirit of Stirling Whisky Festival in Sterling on May 9, 2015, will offer masterclasses and other fun whisky-related events.
In Edinburgh from May 14 to 17, an immersive, multi-sensory experience called Create:Eat:Whisky will attempt to evoke the sights, sounds and scents encountered in the whisky-making process. The event is set to take place in an old milk factory, and the use of lighting, projection, sound and scent makes this no ordinary whisky tasting. Small bites will be paired with the whisky being sampled throughout the evening.
On May 15, the place to be is the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, where live music, a silent disco, street food stalls, and stunning spring blooms will accompany whisky and honey tastings throughout the day. Sounds like a pretty great preamble to World Whisky Day on May 16, when events celebrating whisky will take place all over the world.
At Edinburgh’s Whisky Stramash from the May 23 to 24, you can look forward what the event organizers call “an event of mystery, entertainment, comicality, and madcap pioneering.” Another festival happening that same weekend is the Mhor Festival in Perthshire, which brings together producers like Glengoyne, Deanston, and Auchentoshan on the grounds of Monachyle Mhor Hotel. This family-friendly festival has many non-boozy events, like an omelette challenge, raft race, and kid-oriented “woodlands walks” that integrate trapeze and storytelling sessions. The Islay Malt and Music Festival in Islay is also on this weekend, though you can spend an entire week on the small island if you want, as the local distilleries hold open days throughout the week.
Can’t make it to Scotland this May? No worries. Whisky is so much a part of Scotland’s national landscape that you’ll find plenty of whisky-related fun all year around. For example, at SCOTCH, a bar located inside The Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh, you can choose from over 400 varieties of whisky. Start planning your Whisky Month trip for next year right now.