Spirit of Speyside: Distilled is set to raise the bar with food and drink highlights

Spirit of Speyside: Distilled is set to raise the bar with food and drink highlights from one region under one roof.

The finishing touches to Spirit of Speyside: Distilled have been made, with just days to go until the launch of this brand new celebration of one of Scotland’s most famous food and drink regions.

The new festival which takes a good splash of whisky, gin, beer and cocktails and adds a generous side order of food steams into the region’s largest town, Elgin, from September 9-11 with a fantastic range of flavours being served up over four sessions.

Its busy timetable includes exclusive masterclasses and mini-mixology sessions, food and drink pairings and opportunities to sample new and as yet unreleased single malts and local gins and craft beers.

As it reaches its final destination, there are limited places which are rapidly filling up but those who are quick still have time to reserve tickets and be part of a unique event toasting  Speyside’s finest flavours, delivered by organisers of the renowned Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.

Spirit of Speyside: Distilled festival manager Pery Zakeri says, “After months of planning we’re almost there, and we can’t wait to raise our glasses and get things underway.

“We’re all set for a buzzing weekend serving up the tastes and flavours of Speyside to audiences at our different sessions in a single venue.

“It’s not all about whisky; we’re delighted to bring in gin, beer, food, cocktail making and much more. Tickets are limited for both sessions and masterclasses, and we strongly recommend booking online in advance to guarantee admission. There may be tickets available at the door, too, for any sessions that haven’t sold out.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors from all over Scotland and closer to home too; those living near the Aberdeen-Inverness railway line for example can make a day of it on the train and they should book tickets, catch their connection and make their destination Distilled.

“We’ve got it all covered – for people who want to come along with their friends and be part of a new event offering a range of different tastes and flavours, and for those with a thirst to learn about the region’s drinks from the experts.”

Distilled brings the region’s famous whisky distilleries together under one roof in their home area for the first time. There will be tastes and tipples from over 30 exhibitors ranging from global whisky brands to small craft breweries, internationally renowned food producers to small artisan specialists.

It features a huge range of distilleries responsible for producing world famous brands, including Aberlour, Benromach, Cardhu, Cragganmore, The Glenlivet, Glen Moray, Benromach, Macallan, Glenfiddich and Glen Grant. There is also the chance to sample drinks from local craft breweries and gin distillers and try food from a number of local firms.

In addition, there will be tutorials with new, rare and cask strength drams, and insights into the craft of whisky, gin and beer making led by experts in their craft which visitors can sign up for.

Visitors will be able to meet the people behind the products, including master distillers and brand ambassadors, and can reserve places on masterclasses covering topics from cocktails to food pairing.

Spirit of Speyside: Distilled kicks off at Elgin Town Hall on Friday, September 9 with an evening session from 7–11pm. There are two sessions on the Saturday – from 1-5pm and again from 7-11pm – with the final session on the Sunday from 12-4pm.

Tickets, priced £20, are on sale now and the entry fee includes vouchers for five 10ml tasting samples of gin or whisky, a voucher for a tasting measure of a beer, a Glencairn crystal nosing and tasting glass plus a lanyard to hold it, and a tasty snack featuring the best of  local produce, prepared by event caterers Good Highland Food. In addition there is an opportunity to taste an extensive range of additional drams in exchange for tokens available to buy at the event, each costing £1. There is also an on-site retail outlet being run by The Whisky Shop Dufftown.

There are discounts for group bookings of 10 or more with a reduced ticket price of £18 per person, so savings can be made for friends and family planning to attend the festival together: for details see http://distilled.scot/blog/distilled-best-enjoyed-friends-discount-offered-group-bookings/

There are limited places for masterclasses, full details of which are available on the Spirit of Speyside: Distilled website – www.distilled.scot – where tickets can also be bought.

Distilled is an offshoot of the hugely popular Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which takes place annually over the May Day holiday weekend. The event has been running for almost 20 years and attracts an international audience of whisky lovers and comprises almost 500 events over multiple venues.

Distilled is a departure from this, as a mini-festival in one location that would appeal to people who enjoy whisky, gin, beer and cocktails but may not wish to attend a range of different events at different venues. Naturally, as the home of more than 50 distilleries, Distilled’s visitors may well wish to fit in a distillery tour or some of the other experiences the area has to offer.

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