ORGANISERS behind the Inverness Whisky Festival announced last week that the 2015 event will be rebranded and expanded.
At a launch evening in Inverness’ Glenmoriston Hotel it was revealed that the festival, which takes place in April next year, will now be known as Nip and will feature gin for the first time alongside whisky.
The Nip festival is set to take place across Inverness from April 7 to April 11 with a number of spirit-themed events including tasting sessions and live music events to be hosted at venues throughout the city.
The festivities will culminate at the main event at Bogbain Farm near Inverness where whisky and gin makers will be exhibiting their produce.
Festival organiser Bruce MacGregor said the inclusion of gin as part of this year’s event would broaden the appeal of Nip, benefitting both spirit categories.
“Over the last year or so we’ve been looking at the spirits market in general and noticed gin has made a big impact,” said MacGregor.
“Whisky has a very strong following but we wanted to take more people in to it [the festival].”
The event will take place during the ‘Year of Food and Drink’ and MacGregor said there are plans to celebrate the connection between food and drink at the festival.
Food and drink pairing events are set to include whisky and chocolate pairing from Inverness Whisky Shop and local chocolate-themed cafe So Coco; whisky and beer pairing from the Highland Bottle Shop; and whisky and cheese tasting.
Co-organiser Yvonne Murray said the festival programme will offer “an immersive experience in beautiful surroundings, with events taking place across the Highland capital”.
“We feel that now is the time to build on the success of the Inverness Whisky Festival, and to develop our offering as one of the premier food and drink events in the country,” said Murray.
“I look forward to giving spirit-lovers from around the world a warm Highland welcome in April.”
Fiona Richmond, project manager for industry group Scotland Food & Drink, said the Nip festival is “a great example of an engaging and fun series of events which engage consumers with distilling and the production process”.