The Finest Dram

Calling all whisky connoisseurs! The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2013 is offering enthusiasts the opportunity to try some of the most expensive, elusive and sought-after drams in the country.

A series of tastings and master classes will allow fans to enjoy rare single malts from the warehouses of some of the world’s best-known distilleries when the festival takes place in Speyside – the spiritual home of the Scotland’s malt whisky industry - from May 2-6.

One of the key and most eagerly anticipated events will be judging for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2013 Awards, which will be voted for by the public. Six whiskies have been selected for the short list - Aberlour A’bunadh, Strathisla, Glenfiddich Distillery Edition, Balvenie Doublewood, The Glenlivet XXV and The Glenlivet 21 – and all must undergo the taste test.

Mike Lord is owner of specialist store The Whisky Shop in Dufftown – the malt whisky capital of the world – and says that festival-goers are in for a real treat this year. He adds, “The programme for this year’s festival offers some excellent opportunities to try the various drams on offer, including those at The Whisky Shop. The judging for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky awards gives people the chance to try the best the area has to offer, particularly the new Balvanie Doublewood and the excellent Glenlivet XXV.

Spirit of Speyside

“There will be special tours at Glenlivet during which people can taste the complete range of the distillery’s whisky, including the oldest expressions and limited editions, and can even sample direct from the cask. These are great drams but very expensive so tours and tastings are the perfect way to sample them.

“This year is all the more exciting as Gordon & MacPhail are offering their ‘Last Chance to Try…’ tasting experience. Although it is not known which whiskies will be on offer, Gordon & MacPhail are renowned for their stocks of older whiskies which can be difficult to find in distilleries.

“There will also be some limited expressions on offer during the festival as Tamdhu Distillery is launching its new limited expression especially for the event.”

The festival’s jam-packed schedule will also include a special tour and tasting from Mortlach Distillery, with the chance to taste an exclusive bottling of single malt, Mortlach, which is being released in honour of the festival.

Those with a passion for whisky will be in for a treat with Glenfiddich Distillery, as visitors will be given the opportunity to bottle a 20cl cask strength sample from the Malt Masters Selection. The experience will finish with a tutored nosing and tasting of six award winning whiskies up to 30-years-old in the distillery’s VIP suite.

The annual festival will take place this year from May 2nd – 6th and will play host to over 370 events and activities. Tickets for all events in the 2013 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme can be bought via the website,

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