Festival was a spirited event

Visitors from across the globe flock to Speyside

• A dram fine time: Campbell (left) and Cantlay toast Spirit of Speyside.

REPRESENTATIVES from more than 30 countries are said to have descended on the Speyside region earlier this month for the 15th annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.

Running between May 1 and May 5, the festival included 431 separate events, with a claimed 6000 tickets sold through the festival website alone.
In addition to a range of whisky-themed events, this year’s festival saw the launch of Spirit of Speyside Sessions, a series of music and comedy performances that took place at a variety of venues across Speyside throughout the festival.

The festival comprised a range of whisky-themed events.

The event also included the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards, where the public were invited to vote on their favourite drams from a shortlist drawn up by a panel of judges.
Benriach 12 year old Sherry Wood was named winner in the 12 year old and under category, with The Balvenie 15 year old Single Cask taking the prize for malts aged between 13 and 20 years.
In the 21 year old category Cardhu 21 year old was voted the winner, with Tamdhu 10 year old Limited Edition taking the top spot in the special editions category.
Festival chairman James Campbell paid tribute to Speyside’s “great whisky companies and their dedicated, passionate staff”.
“They have delivered a programme of whisky, food and music events which will stay long in the memories of our visitors from across the globe; making them feel very much a part of our communities,” said Campbell. “It was also really pleasing to see so many Homecoming visitors making the journey back to Scotland and Speyside or making the journey for the first time.”
Spirit of Speyside marked the official launch of Scotch Whisky Month – a series of events celebrating Scotland’s national spirit.
VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay described the festival as “a huge success”.