“Whisky connoisseurs will be interested to note that The Whisky Stramash is an event aimed at challenging stuffy perceptions of Scotch and other worldly whiskies and so they shouldn’t expect the same old ‘festival’ format.”
So says Scott Martin, co-founder of the Whisky Stramash whisky festival, which returns to Edinburgh for its second outing this Saturday and Sunday.
Last year during the inaugural event more than 2,000 people headed to Surgeons’ Hall in the city centre, to take in the slightly more unusual events, such as the Jura Murder Mystery which included the fabulous Peter Capaldi in its cast.
The idea behind the event is to attract both a younger audience and to “help make current whisky and modern spirits drinkers see, hear, understand and ultimately drink whisky in completely new and different ways.”
Organised by Martin and Darroch Ramsay, both long-time members of the whisky ambassadorial community, the festival is also keen to attract new people to the fold.
“We will have a load of very special Whisky Stramash ambassadors who will be there to help, answer questions and take you on a tour of whisky regardless if you have been drinking whisky for 25 minutes or 25 years. This is a great chance for those who don’t currently drink whisky to come along and learn about our national drink in a fun, interactive environment. It will simply be a great learning experience,” explained Martin.
This year, there will be more than 200 whiskies to sample from distilleries such as Glen Moray, The Glenrothes, Wemyss Malts, the English Whisky Company, Kilchoman and many more. Deanston will host the Malt Whisky Time Machine – allowing guests to dress up in vintage distillery worker wear and check out photos from distilleries of the past – while Woodford Reserve will host a Prohibition era Speakeasy featuring classic cocktails and tales of illicit spirits.
Also this year, Harviestoun Brewery will debut Ola Dubh 30, a beer aged in first fill Highland Park ex-sherry casks, in honour of the brewery’s 30th anniversary. Only 145 pints of the beer has been made, making it rather rare.
Attendees get access for four hours to all the drams and events (the latter on a first-come, first-serve basis) along with a whisky glass for £26.
For more information on Whisky Stramash and the events, visit: www.thewhiskystramash.com. For tickets, head here.