I have to admit a couple of things:
Scotland has become my favorite destination ever since I visited there in 2019.
Scotch Whisky has become my beverage of choice.
So, any opportunity to put these together is an automatic draw for me. Two of these opportunities are the annual Speyside Whisky Festival, and Scotland’s Malt Whisky Trail.
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
The Speyside region of Scotland lies in the northern region of Scotland. It lies in an area east of the town of Inverness, and bordered on the north by the North Sea. Edinburgh is more than 150 miles to the south. This year’s festival just ended after it was held from April 26 – May 2. The festival encompassed over 500 events including whisky tastings, distillery tours, dinners, demonstrations, and musical events. Some of the events were “Whisky and Chocolate”, “Whisky and Afternoon Tea”, “Whisky and Beer”. . . well, you get the idea.
Unlike other festivals that you may think of, this festival is not held in one place. In fact, looking at the program for this year’s festival, events were held in about 25 different towns in the Speyside Region. Roughly speaking, the towns in the festival area stretch about 75 miles from west to east, and about 50 miles north to south.
This area of Scotland is pretty rural. Inverness is the largest, nearest city, and it is 50 miles from the center of the region. And Inverness has a population of less than 50,000 people. So, visiting the events of the festival will take some planning. Hotels in the area tend to book fast.
Here is a link to the 2022 Whisky Festival Program. Click here.
The Malt Whisky Trail
The Speyside Region is also home to the Malt Whisky Trail. The last statistic I have seen is that there are are over 140 Whisky Distilleries in Scotland, and over 50 of them are in the Speyside Region. Some of these are quite well known, including The Macallan, The Glenlivet and The Glenfiddich.
The VisitScotland.com website describes the Malt Whisky Trail as 74 miles with stops at 9 different distilleries. They recommend taking three days to make the circuit.
Here is a video on the Whisky Trail: Scotch Whisky Trail
Travel to this region is first done by air, flying in to either Edinburgh or Glasgow. There is a 3-day tour available that starts in Edinburgh and goes to the Whisky Trail.