May sees the third annual Whisky month kick-off – a month-long celebration of Scotland’s national drink, as well as the people and landscapes behind it.
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
30 April – 4 May
Taking place in the heart of whisky country, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is one of the country’s biggest whisky events. Last year’s festival comprised of 370 different events, from distillery tours and whisky tastings, to musical performances and ceilidh dancing.
Spirit of Stirling Whisky Festival
Once Speyside is over and done with, Stirling will get into the spirit of things with the Spirit of Stirling Whisky Festival. The festival started in 2012, and in 2014, it moved to its new venue – the Stirling Highland Hotel, which sits in the shadow of Stirling Castle. A number of masterclasses run throughout the day but be sure to book early!
World Whisky Day
The brainchild of former Aberdeen University student Blair Bowman, the fourth World Whisky Day takes place on 16 May, with whisky fans the world over encouraged to gather together and raise a glass to Scotland’s national drink.
23 & 24 May
The relatively new Mhor Festival returns for the fourth time in 2015, bringing together a whole host of food, drink, music and theatre. Lowland whisky producers Glengoyne, Deanston and Auchentoshan will be on hand with some of their finest drams. The festival also offers family activities, live music, a ceilidh, a bake-off competition and a raft race.
Fèis Ìle – The Islay Festival of Malt and Music
Probably the daddy of them all, Fèis Ìle was founded by the locals in 1986 to celebrate the heritage and culture of the island, which boasts eight whisky distilleries across its 35 miles. Over the eight days, each distillery holds its own open days, which include special tours and tastings, alongside traditional music, ceilidhs, guided walks and other outdoor activities.
There are a number of Whisky Month events taking place in Edinburgh, which you can read about over on Time Out Edinburgh, including Jelly & Gin’s Create:Eat:Whisky, The Hive and The Still at the Royal Botanic Garden, and the Whisky Stramash.