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Scotland's biggest whisky festival goes virtual in April


By Chris Saunderson

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THE biggest whisky festival in Scotland - the Spirit of Speyside - will move online in April and the full festival will return in November, in line with Covid restrictions.

The malt whisky trail is coming to people online.
The malt whisky trail is coming to people online.

Events confirmed for the online experience so far include a tour of one of Scotland’s newest and most contemporary distilleries, Dalmunach Distillery, from Master Distiller, Alan Winchester; an exploration of Benriach’s World of Flavour and new portfolio with Global Brand Ambassador Stewart Buchanan and a whistle stop virtual tasting tour of malt whisky country with The Malt Whisky Trail.

Master distiller Alan Winchester.
Master distiller Alan Winchester.

Festival organisers are hopeful that the event, which would have been celebrating its 21st year in April, will be able to go ahead with visitors from November 3-8, providing it is safe for everyone to travel at that time, based on Scottish Government advice.

It had been hoped to go ahead with the festival at the end of April with social distancing and other safety measures in place, however, the emergence of a new variant of the virus has made that impossible.

Festival chairman James Campbell.
Festival chairman James Campbell.

James Campbell, festival chairman, said: “Given whisky lovers won’t be able to come to Speyside for our annual festival this April, we have decided to take the festival to them until it is safe for visitors to return to Malt Whisky Country hopefully later in the year.

"We can’t wait to welcome new and returning visitors from the UK and further afield to this beautiful part of the world. In the meantime, we hope that our online programme of events in April will lift everyone’s spirits and give people a taste of what to expect from the festival in November.

Behind the scenes with Stuart Buchanan.
Behind the scenes with Stuart Buchanan.

"We will then revert back to our traditional date in 2022.”

The full programme of virtual events will be listed on www.spiritofspeyside.com and will be available for preview on March 11. Tickets will go on sale on March 16.

The festival is the biggest in the world.
The festival is the biggest in the world.

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