This year was my third time to the Spirit of Speyside whisky festival.
It was its 15th anniversary and more events than ever were put on, including a world-class music celebration, which happened every night during the fest.
As with last year (read my round-up of that in this post) I was overwhelmed with the joy, excitement, warmth and general enthusiasm surrounding it. Thousands of people descend each year on Scotland’s most favoured whisky region (52 out of the just over 100 distilleries are based here) just for this festival and this year was no let-down.
For me what made this festival so special was the fact I had the opportunity to host events alongside some of my favourite women in the whisky industry for the first International Women of Whisky Day (#IWOWD). We were lucky enough to be hosted by the wonderful team at the Aberlour Hotel, and put together four events which (we felt at least) were a rather big success. Annabel, Johanne, Angela and I could not have been more grateful for the support of our events both in person and over social media, where loads of people tweeted in images of themselves raising a glass to the women in their lives that mean the most on that day. We’re already planning for next year to be even bigger and better so keep an eye out closer to the time to find out more.
While last year I expressed my happiness at both the festival and at being named International Ambassador of the Year in words, this year I decided to do so through video, which I captured throughout my four days up in Speyside.
From the opening night dinner at Glen Grant, through to walks at Aberlour distillery and up Ben Rinnes, the International Women of Whisky Day events, and concerts at Balvenie Castle and a concert and ceilidh at the wonderful Aberlour Town Hall (one of my favourite places to visit when I’m up) this year was filled with moments to remember. I also had the chance to catch up with friends old and new at the annual Craigellachie Whisky Auction (where I snagged myself a bottle of 2008 Spirit of Speyside blended malt) and at the Walkers Shortbread plant (a feature on which will be coming soon on the site, detailing how important the shortbread industry has been to the whisky industry).
To check out the video and take in the full joy of the 2014 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, head to YouTube here: Spirit of Speyside 2014.
And most of all, may Speyside’s spirit be with you throughout 2014, even if you can’t make it to the beautiful distilleries or to take in its gorgeous landscapes yourself. It’s a wonderful place to be and I wholeheartedly recommend a visit if you can.