Whisky festival season is about to get underway in earnest, with the Spirit of Speyside event kicking off from Thursday 3 May. Here’s what the SMWS has in store

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is just around the corner, with events, tastings and distillery tours taking place across the famous whisky region from Thursday, 3 through to Monday, 7 May.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society will be there, of course, with a full day of activity lined up for Friday, 4 May at our partner bar, The Quaich at The Craigellachie Hotel.

SMWS ambassador and worldwide whisky authority Hans Offringa will be leading the Society’s three events on the day, as well as officially passing on his current title of International Brand Ambassador for the festival on the opening night of Wednesday, 2 May.

Hans Offringa receiving his title of International Brand Ambassador for the Spirit of Speyside festival from Dave Broom last year.

Friday, 4 May also sees the Society’s First Friday Outturn release, which includes two special celebratory bottlings for the Spirit of Speyside, as well as a total of eight bottlings for the upcoming Feis Ile festival on Islay at the end of the month (depending on your location).

The programme for Hans’s SMWS masterclasses at the Craigellachie Hotel on Speyside is:

Exclusive masterclass, 2pm

Revealing four of the Society’s special release bottlings from both Speyside and Islay.

Ambassador-in-residence session, 5pm

Drop-in session where Hans will present a selection of SMWS bottlings to sample, including the two exclusive SMWS Spirit of Speyside bottlings.

Whisky dinner, 7.30pm

Join Hans for a four-course whisky dinner, matching SMWS whiskies with dishes created by Craigellachie head chef Andy Fyfe.

Whether you’re able to attend the Spirit of Speyside festival or not, you can join in the Society’s Region Rumble debate, as the Craigellachie Crusader and the Islay Avenger go head-to-head in the battle of the drams.

What do you prefer – are you dedicated to Speyside’s honeyed and elegant drams or do you have a penchant for Islay’s peat, campfires on the beach and marshmallows dipped in oyster brine?

Find out much more and make your voice heard at our Festival Fever page. 

For more information about the Spirit of Speyside festival, visit www.spiritofspeyside.com