If you’re heading to Islay, here’s how to make the most of your visit. If you can’t make it to Feis Ile in person, don’t worry – you can still get the chance to savour our celebratory bottlings

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For those of you lucky enough to have your tickets and accommodation booked on busting Islay for the annual Festival of Music and Malt, there’s going to be plenty of whisky action to keep you occupied, including a series of special Society events.

The SMWS is setting up base camp at the splendid Islay House, home to our partner bar The Peat Cutter Inn. The Society is kicking off the festival on Friday, 25 May from 1pm with a FREE garden party on the lawns overlooking Loch Indaal.

Islay House, home to the SMWS during the Islay Festival of Music and Malt.

You’ll be able to enjoy a wide range of local produce, including Islay Ales and Islay Oysters, along with local craft stalls and exhibits, a mouth-watering seafood barbecue from 4pm manned by Islay House’s Michelin-starred executive chef. There will also be live music from 7.30pm into the night from Deoch n Dorus fiddler Simon Moran and other local artists.

The Peat Cutter Bar will be open from 1pm, with a rare selection of SMWS bottlings, and our EXCLUSIVE FESTIVAL BOTTLINGS will, of course, be available to explore and buy.

As well as the free garden party, the Society will also be hosting a series of masterclasses with brand ambassador John McCheyne at Islay House.


Friday, 25 May, 2:30-3:30pm

Let regional battle commence, can we tempt our Islay superfans with two exclusive bottlings from Speyside? Taste, explore and vote for your favourite festival bottlings as we sample five SMWS celebratory bottlings – with our Islay Avenger, master brand ambassador John McCheyne, hosting our Region Rumble.

Ticket price £30


Friday, 25 May, 4:30-5:30pm

Master brand ambassador John McCheyne will guide us through three peaty single cask whiskies, so you can explore and vote for your favourite. Each superfan masterclass will sample different peaty drams and include at least one Islay Festival bottling.

Ticket price £20

ISLAY AVENGER: SUPERFAN TASTINGS will also take place at Islay House on:

Friday, 25 May at 7-8pm

Monday, 28 May at 3-4pm

Tuesday, 29 May at 3-4pm

Wednesday, 30 May at 3-4pm

SMWS Venues: Members’ Rooms & partner bars

If you can’t make it to the festivals, then throughout May, the SMWS will be running Speyside & Islay-inspired offers and menus with matched whiskies in its Members’ Rooms and partner bars. There will also be special Islay and Speyside festival flights to sample and enjoy. Tastings will focus on an Islay versus Speyside theme, where the two regions will be presented against each other. In the Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar in Edinburgh, festival-themed cocktails will be created from Friday 4 May.

For more information about the Islay and Speyside bottlings and events, please visit www.smws.com/events/islay-speyside

For all Festival Fever updates, keep an eye on www.smws.com/festival-fever