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Intertwined like two lovers under a moonlit sky, Scotland and whisky make quite the dynamic duo. In fact, the Scots love whisky so much that they decided to dedicate the entire month of May to the drink, with the third Saturday of May (the 19th this year) reserved for World Whisky Day. From festivals to tastings, savour a wee dram with our guide to some of the best ways to celebrate Scotland’s national drink this Whisky Month.
As one of the main whisky regions of Scotland, the isle of Islay is synonymous with whisky. Fèis Ìle, an important date in the local social calendar with a lifespan of just over three decades, is more than just a music and malt festival. It’s a celebration of this southern Hebridean island’s heritage and people. And yes, barrels of their iconic peaty drams do appear in abundance! Take a swig of local life by revelling in the expansive programme of events which range from ceilidhs and traditional music, to golf, Gaelic lessons and, of course, whisky tastings. Make sure to visit every one of the iconic local distilleries!
Although not in May, don’t obsesses over the tiny details and start psyching yourself up for Dramathon. And yes, it’s exactly as it sounds – leave it up to the Scots to invent a marathon with whisky as an incentive! Set amid the spellbinding scenery of Speyside, participants can take a swig at the full and half marathons, 10k or relay race. Collecting all the distillery stamps gets you a wee treat of drams at the finish line. This distance race follows the Speyside Way and includes stops at all the great distilleries, including Glenfarclas and Glenfiddich. Like a Speyside malt, there’s nothing quite like Dramathon.
Equal parts quirky and fun, the Edinburgh Whisky Stramash is a whisky-related event of unrivalled proportions! Between the almost overwhelming array of 250-plus whiskies from all the Scottish regions (and further afar) and the playful nature of the shindig, dram drinkers will be left tickled, tempted and totally satisfied. This atmospheric affair will run over two days in the historic setting of Surgeons’ Hall.
Canter on over to the Stirling Highland Hotel this May for the Stirling Whisky Festival. Have a good chinwag with all the renowned distillers and sample until your soul is satisfied. If looking for an excuse, consider the outing purely educational by signing up for the whisky masterclass, rare coveted malts and all.
Wherever you are and whoever you’re with on Saturday, 19 May, 2018, make sure to drink a dram for World Whisky Day. If you happen to be in Scotland at this time – you know what to do!