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Scotland: Celebrate the Home of Whisky

May 8, 2017 Destination Europe No Comments Email Email

As people across the globe prepare to raise a dram in celebration of World Whisky Day on May 20, VisitScotland is asking everyone to embrace all things Scotch whisky with some incredible festivals, tours and experiences all in honour of our national drink!

Whisky, or the ‘water of life’ as it’s known in Scotland, was first distilled here back in the 15th century, and since then has become the only place to taste and experience whisky at its best! So, with under a month to go before we all have a tipple in tribute to the mosttasty of alcoholic drinks ever created, there isn’t a better time for visitors to come to Scotland and see and taste it for real.

With well over 100 distilleries producing five different blends covering five huge whisky regions, massive festivals, wonderful attractions, and plenty of amazing bars and whisky clubs to delve into, it truly is a once in a lifetime experience.

Here is everything you need to know about Scotch whisky, and everything coming this month and beyond!

Whisky celebrations in Scotland this May.

World Whisky Day

May 20

World Whisky Day, first created by Scot student Blair Bowman, will see events take place from as far as Melbourne Australian, Hong Kong China, and Bogota Columbia –and all paying tribute to one of Scotland’s best exports. Want to go to an event? Check out their website for all events and venue details:

Why not also get the Whisky Pocket Book for all your whisky needs: Click here for a preview

Islay Whisky Festival – Feis Ile

May 26 – June 3

Isle of Islay

Being home to eight distilleries, including Lagavulin, and Laphroaig, there isn’t a better place to immerse oneself in the world of whisky. With fantastic live music, rip roaring ceilidhs, special tours and all the whisky drinking people can ask for, it’s a truly spectacular festival to be enjoyed by everyone. 10 massive events spanning six days, and all in the beautiful surrounds of the Islay’s stunning lush, green landscape – in itself worth the trip!

Stirling Whisky Festival

May 6


Returning for its 6th year, the quality little festival goes from strength to strength attracting most of top distilleries from all across Scotland. Attendees will have access to over 100 malts, gaining first-hand knowledge from the makers themselves. Nestled in the iconic and ancient heart of Stirling, and with its famous castle looming over head, this is great event to attend, if not to bask in Stirling’s wonderful allure.

Edinburgh Whisky Stramash

May 27-28


Scotland’s stunning capital mixed with a fantastic whisky festival? What could be better! The Edinburgh Stramash has a wonderfully quirky take on the whisky festival with an ideology of whisky for everyone. Visitors will have 200 different whiskies from around the world to sample, and a number of participatory “experiences” that Stramashers can get involved in. Wonderful food, tastings and all within one of the most iconic cities on planet earth – delightful!

Further Ahead?

May isn’t the only month for whisky celebrations; check out these events taking place throughout the year. Stay tuned!

Edinburgh Whisky Festival – Edinburgh, 17 June

Spirit of Stirling Whisky Festival – Stirling, July 2017

Speyside Whisky Autumn Festival– across Speyside, 22 Sep to 25 Sep

Dramathon – across Speyside, 21 October

Glasgow Whisky Festival – Glasgow, 11 November

Experience the home of whisky

Scotch whisky touches every part of this beautiful country, so it’s never been easier to truly indulge in Scotch whisky.

Scotch Whisky Experience


The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre is situated beside Edinburgh Castle in a unique historical building in the heart of ancient Edinburgh. The Experience hosts all sorts of events from whisky tastings, a wonderful barrel ride tour, cocktail competitions and stunning banquets. Visitors can discover how Scotland’s majestic scenery influences the flavour and character of the whiskies with a tutored tasting of a Scotch Single Malt Whisky. The Scotch Whisky Experience now also offers tours in Chinese language.

Speyside Malt Whisky Trail

Speyside, Aberdeenshire

Speyside is home to more than half of Scotland’s distilleries, all situated amid beautiful coastline or amongst historical towns and villages. The likes of Benromach, Dallas Dhu, Cardhu, Strathisla, Glen Grant, Glenfiddich, and Glenlivet all reside within Speyside, making it the world’s premium whisky making region! Not to be missed in the region are the beautiful towns of Grantown-on-Spey, Nairn, Lossiemouth and Elgin – great for any trip! Visitors can also see the award winning Speyside Cooperage in Craigellachie whichprovides the opportunity to view highly-skilled coopers practising their ancient craft – Whisky purest heaven.

Also check out VisitScotland’s Speyside Whisky Trail itinerary:

Islay – Whisky Island

Isle of Islay

Islay has always been blessed with beautiful scenes of nature – rich farmlands and open pastures, yet this small island is also home to seven distilleries, all of which are as amazing and unique as the next.

Due to its peat and landscape it makes for some utterly fantastic whisky. Islay whiskies range from, Bowmore, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, toArdbeg, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila. Whether coming to the island to enjoy and taste its whisky, or simply enjoy its wonderful charm and beauty, it’s certainly a must! Islay also sees its eighth distillery, Ardnahoe, open sometime in the near future.

New Distilleries and Tours coming soon!

As the worlds appetite for Scotch whisky increases, do does the need for more. Here a number of the new distilleries and tours opening up over next 12 months across Scotland.

Clydeside Distillery and Tour – September 2017

One of the first distillers to be built in Glasgow in a century, the Clydeside Distillery will look to embody a lowland blend mixed with the cities shipping heritage. Sitting along the banks of the River Clyde in central Glasgow, the Clydeside distillery will look start distilling whisky in July, and visitors will be able to watch its creation with tours and tastings beginning at the same time.

Hawick Distillery – summer 2017

The first distillery to open in the borders of Scotland for almost 150 years will begin distilling in 2017! The whisky, which is expected to produce a light, fragrant and floral style of malt whisky, will enter production in the summer, with a small visitor centre and tours following quickly after.

Isle of Raasay Distillery – summer 2017

Situated just a hop from the Isle of Skye, the Isle of Raasay Distillery will offer a signature whisky with a fruity, sweet and lightly peated character. With a visitor centre also due to open, Isle of Raasay Distillery will also have overnight accommodation for members of the distillery’s Na Tusairean whisky club. And with the Skye’s Talisker and Torabhaig not far away, it could make the perfect short whisky themed getaway!

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