Raise a dram to Scotland on World Whisky Day on May 18
To celebrate World Whisky Day, on 18 May, VisitScotland is inviting all to raise a dram and discover more about Scotch whisky, Scotland’s national drink and biggest export!
The practice of distilling whisky has been lovingly perfected throughout Scotland for centuries and began as a way of turning rain-soaked barley into a drinkable spirit, using the fresh water from Scotland's crystal-clear springs and streams.Looking towards 2020, as Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, it’s not surprising thatwhisky will play a starring role alongside Scotland’s fresh seafood, stunning islands, and rugged coastlines.
Today there are some 148 distilleries across Scotland, each producing wonderfully distinct whisky, dependent on everything from the source of the water to the wood of the cask. Paying a visit to a distillery lets you discover more about the environment and the people who shape the taste of the whisky you enjoy.
According to the Scotch Whisky Association, in 2018, the export value of Scotch whisky grew +7.8% by value, to a record £4.70bn. The number of 70cl bottles exported also reached record levels growing to the equivalent of 1.28bn. So why not come to Scotland and experience for yourself?
An important part of Scotland’s heritage, whisky can be celebrated all year round with a host of events and openings across the country for whisky fans to enjoy.
Celebrate whisky at the following annual festivals…
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival | 1-6 May | Aberdeenshire
Join whisky lovers from far and wide in Speyside for a unique whisky festival. The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is filled with special behind-the-scenes distillery tours, whisky and food pairings, whisky tours by train, whisky-themed walks and more, held across a huge range of iconic distilleries and local venues throughout the Speyside region.
Stirling Whisky Festival | 10-11 May | Stirling
Returning for its seventh year, this little festival has gone from strength to strength attracting most of top distilleries from across Scotland. Attendees will have access to over 100 malts, gaining first-hand knowledge from the makers themselves. Taking place in the iconic and historic city of Stirling, the festival’s backdrop features the famous Stirling Castle which looms over head.
The Highland Whisky Festival | 10-17 May | Scottish Highlands
The Highland Whisky Festival is a brand-new whisky festival which celebrates the established Highland Whisky Trail. Taking place from 10 to 17 May, the Highland Whisky Festival is a celebration of the region’s finest distilleries on the North Coast 500 route. Glenmorangie, Old Pulteney, The Dalmore, The Singleton of Glen Ord and Tomatin will each host visitors from around the world, showcasing their centuries of tradition, process and craft through exclusive tastings, tours and events.
World Whisky Day| 18 May | Global
World Whisky Day, first created by Scot student Blair Bowman, will see events take place from as far as Australia, China, and Columbia –and all paying tribute to one of Scotland’s best exports.
Edinburgh Whisky Stramash | 18-19 May | Edinburgh
The Edinburgh Stramash has the ideology that whisky is for everyone. Visitors will have over 100 different whiskies from around the world to sample and a number of participatory "experiences" to get involved in. Wonderful food and tastings, all within one of the most iconic cities.
Experience the home of whisky…h
Scotch Whisky Experience | Edinburgh
Take a sensational whisky barrel ride through a replica distillery before your expert guide imparts the secrets of the whisky regions. Finally, you'll choose your perfect 'dram', and taste it in The World's Largest Whisky Collection.
Speyside Malt Whisky Trail | 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, Glenfiddich, and Glenlivet all reside within Speyside, making it the world’s premium whisky making region! Visitors can also see the award-winning Speyside Cooperage in Craigellachie which provides the opportunity to view highly-skilled coopers practising their ancient craft.
Hebridean Whisky Trail | The Outer Hebrides
Explore the Spirit of the Isles with the brand new Hebridean Whisky Trail. Embark on a whisky tour by road and sea against the stunning backdrop of the Scottish Hebrides along the Atlantic coast. Discover the stories and the communities behind the whiskies as well as the histories and the landscapes that have influenced their productions.
The Macallan Distillery | Aberdeenshire
The Macallan Distillery recently opened its doors to reveal a brand-new visitor experience and distillery, costing £140 million. The new distillery sits in the breath-taking north-east of Scotland, above the river Speyin the middle of the Easter Elchies House estate. The distillery, which is designed to reflect the surrounding landscape, offers visitors the chance to learn more about the whisky which was founded in 1824.
Glenmorangie Distillery|Scottish Highlands
Based in the Highlands, north of Inverness, Glenmorangie has been distilling whisky since 1843. The distillery has the tallest stills in Scotland, which were erected under the founder, William Matheson. With a wide range of whiskies to choose between, from the Glenmorangie Original to the exclusive Glenmorangie Signet, there is a dram to suit every taste. The tour allows visitors to see the warehouses and distillery, providing an insight into every stage of the process.
Bruichladdich Distillery | Isle of Islay
Bruichladdich Distillery was built in 1881 and was the last distillery to be built on Islay. It has structurally remained very much the same since then and some of the original equipment is still in use today. Bruichladdich are passionate about the ancient art of distilling, but believe that the past should not stand in the way of progress and innovation. Come to Bruichladdich for a whisky with real character.
Glengoyne Distillery | Killearn, Glasgow
Glengoyne Distillery, close to Loch Lomond, is open for tours year-round. The spectacular Sample Room allows visitors to take their whisky knowledge to new levels. After the fascinating tour you can even create your own, personalised bottle of malt whisky. Fill your own bottle from one of the casks and cork it yourself, completing the unique souvenir with a label that features your signature and the bottle number – a truly memorable whisky experience.
Clutha Distillery | Glasgow
Opening autumn 2019
A new £10.7 million urban Whisky distillery and bottling complex is to be built on the banks of the River Clyde in the heart of Glasgow. The ambitious and innovative project is being masterminded by one of the country’s fastest growing Scotch Whisky firms, Douglas Laing & Co. The ‘Clutha Distillery’, ‘Clutha’, meaning Clyde in Gaelic, reflects both the company’s heritage and the location of the new distillery which will sit on the banks of the River Clyde in the heart of the city.
Holyrood Distillery | Edinburgh
Opening Summer 2019
Situated next to Holyrood Park, this city centre distillery will be located right in the heart of Edinburgh’s distilling history, on St. Leonard’s Lane. The 180-year-old Engine Shed building, steeped in railway history, will be thoughtfully renovated to suit the distilling needs, while making room for the visitors. Under the guidance of Head Distiller, Jack Mayo, the distillery will produce a range of single malts, gins, liqueurs and other spirits. Holyrood’s progressive approach to playing with flavours, ingredients, distilling processes and maturation will set it apart.
Lagg Distillery | Isle of Arran
Opening Summer 2019
A brand new Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery will be opening on the Isle of Arran on the West Coast of Scotland. The new distillery is located near the village of Lagg, an area that was a hotbed of whisky production in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Lagg Single Malt will be heavily-peated in a style reminiscent of the original Arran whiskies, but none will be sold for the first 10 years of production. The distillery will open in summer 2019 along with a brand-new visitor centre.