With just two weeks until the first Highland Whisky Festival, I thought I’d take a look at what’s on offer. Pour yourself a dram and see what eight Highland distilleries are offering, from the 10th – 17th May 2019.
From Thurso to Tomatin, eight distilleries in the northern Highlands of Scotland will be opening their doors for visitors to experience specials tastings, tours and events.
Caithness’s two whisky distilleries in Thurso and Wick showcase the very north on the opening weekend.
Wolfburn – the UK’s most northerly distillery on the mainland has four tours running on Friday 10th May. I visited Wolfburn in 2018 so can recommend a visit to Thurso!
Old Pulteney in Wick is actually my local distillery, and while I haven’t visited yet, Mr B has taken friends and highly recommends the tour, as visitors can see every step of the production and bottling process completed on site. Between tours, ingredient pairing events and special accommodation/dining deals with Mackays Hotel, there’s a lot to enjoy from this maritime malt on the 11th May! If you’re interested in exploring Wick’s coastal location and unique fishing history from the water, I can also highly recommend doing a tour with Caithness Seacoast.
Moving out of Caithness and into Sutherland, the scenery changes and we head towards Clynelish, near the small town of Brora.
There is a whole day of events, tastings and tours at Clynelish on the 12th May. Game of Thrones fans will be happy , as a tutored tasting of the Game of Thrones single malt collection includes the Clynelish ‘Tyrell House’ single malt. The Highland Patissier will also be on hand to give guidance on how whisky and chocolate pair up, and a special ceilidh and celebration dinner round up the proceedings.
Visit Balblair on the 13th May to share a tasting with John MacDonald, or a showing of the ‘Angel’s Share’ and dinner in Dunnage no. 3.
The 14th May brings us to Glenmorangie, based just outside of Tain.
Distillery tours, tastings of old and rare expressions and a truly special single cask dinner are the order of the day.
On the 15th of May, The Dalmore is hosting a distillery tour led by Distillery Manager Stuart Robertson and Operations Director Shane Healy, followed by an intimate tasting on the banks of the Cromarty Firth. Join Richard Paterson and Shauna Jennens to enjoy four very special expressions.
Located on the Black Isle, The Singleton of Glen Ord hosts the Festival on the 16th May, having cooperage displays, maltings tours as well as tastings and a cocktail masterclass. If you want to line your stomach beforehand I can recommend nearby Bad Girl Bakery for delicious lunches, coffees and out of this world cakes in Muir of Ord.
The final stop on the Highland Whisky Festival tour is Tomatin, located between Aviemore and Inverness.
With tastings pairing whiskies to Highland produced chocolates and Scottish cheeses, distillery tours and cooperage demos, and a special end of festival dinner at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness, it’s quite a way to finish a week touring an area which was awarded a ‘Best in Travel’ destination award by Lonely Planet. You can book all event tickets via the festival website.
With thanks to Highland Whisky Festival for providing the information and images for this post. This is not a sponsored post – while not a keen whisky drinker myself I think it’s important to promote the place and products of the Highlands.