SMWS ambassador Hans Offringa takes a whirlwind Speyside tour ahead of hosting the Society’s events at the Spirit of Speyside Festival

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At last night’s wonderful gala dinner I had the pleasure of handing over the Spirit of Speyside quaich to Peter Klas from Germany, who has inherited the festival’s annual International Ambassador title. The board of the Spirit of Speyside Festival also had a little surprise for me – from now on I am named ambassador to the festival for life. Quite an honour!

After breakfast I took a Speyside tour with the Society’s Mark van de Vijver, starting at Glenfarclas, of course, since that’s where the Society was born, cask wise, in 1983.

Mark van der Vijver with Ian McWilliam at Glenfarclas.
At one of The Macallan's warehouses.

Then it was off to Strathisla, the oldest working distillery in Speyside. We had lunch at the excellent Glenfiddich café, and then went to see The Macallan old still house for the last time. It will be closed permanently after the festival and visitors will be allowed to see the brand new distillery as of early next month.

Last view of the old stillroom at The Macallan.
Mark doing some work at Strathisla distillery.

A brief tour through Easter Elchies House made the tour even more remarkable. In the evening The Copper Dog served an excellent supper and we finished the day with a few sumptuous SMWS drams in the Quaich Bar.

The Friday will be full of SMWS events in the Craigellachie Hotel. I will report about those happenings tomorrow!