Spirits High For Scotland's Whisky Month

Posted on: 07 May 2009 by Gareth Hargreaves

In a first for Scotland, a unique month long celebration of Scotland’s famous national drink, Scotch Whisky, will take place this May as a highlight of the Homecoming Scotland 2009 programme.


The programme celebrates the traditional and contemporary aspects of whisky through a wide range of events   - from musicals and smugglers walks to cookery and a rare whisky auction.

The starting point for the month long festival, and a must for any journey of discovery into Scotland’s Whisky, is the refurbished Scotch Whisky Experience opened by the First Minister Alex Salmond MSP on 1st May. 

The 1st also saw the First Minister attending the gala dinner launching the specially extended Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival which will this year conclude in a spectacular Homecoming finale, Saturday 9th May, taking place on the banks of the Spey in Aberlour. 

The middle of the month,16th &17th May, sees the distilleries that make up the dramatic Whisky Coast come together in the stunning grounds of Inveraray Castle in the brand new Spirit of the West. 

Sign up for sessions with the master distillers, cooking demonstrations from Nick Nairn and the top chefs from the West Coast. Feast on the freshest local produce and experience the culture and heritage of the region through a programme of music, dance and unique entertainment.

Be quick to pick up tickets for the sumptuous Burns Ceilidh Dinner at the castle on the Saturday night!  

Uncover more about Scotland’s top export at the National Archives ‘From the Vaults: Whisky and the Scots’ exhibition. Running from 7th May to 26th June over 500 years of  the history of Whisky will be brought to life through rare exhibits including the ‘founding document’ of the industry and poignant reminders of the close links between Whisky and another international icon of Scotland, Robert Burns.

Other new activities during Whisky Month include dining experiences for non-members at Edinburgh’s exclusive Scotch Malt Whisky Society venues, guided walks along the routes of the smugglers and Excisemen in the forests of Balmacara on the 9th May, and Glen Affric on the 29th May, and Whisky tastings with a difference as you cruise the majestic waters of Loch Ness on board the Jacobite Queen on the selected dates - May 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th.

The Homecoming Whisky Auction on May 13th at McTear’s Auctioneers offers you the chance to bid for some of the rarest bottles of Scotland’s national drink and on May 15th Scotland’s oldest Whisky Merchant, Robert Grahams, enables visitors to its Edinburgh and Glasgow stores to sample their exclusive Robert Graham Homecoming Single Islay Malt, especially selected to mark the Year of the Homecoming.

For a full listing of events in the Whisky Month programme and for further information on Homecoming Scotland 2009 go to www.homecomingscotland2009.com/whiskymonth.

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