On Monday 26th November, Gavin and Penny Ellis represented the Spirit of Speyside at the first Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards tasting of the year in Rome.
The Whisky Awards venue was Ristorante Calice d’Oro where Giovanni and Rocco hosted the event and were both a great help. In advance, whisky expert and author Martine Nouet paired the whiskies to food and guests tasted the whiskies by category over the course of the meal.
The tasting comprised of the eight finalist whiskies: Benromach 10YO and Cardhu 12YO for the 12YO and under category, Glen Grant 15YO and Benromach 15YO for the 13YO to 20YO category, the Glenlivet 21YO and Aultmore 21YO for the 21YO and Over category and Glen Moray Elgin Classic Cabernet Cask Finish and Tamdhu Dalbeallie for the Non-Age Statement category. Each guest had to choose their favourite from each category in a blind tasting.
The event was a great success and whilst we cannot reveal anything, some of the categories were very close!
Over the next few months, the whistle-stop tour for the roving judging sessions will take in cities including New York, Malmo, Cologne, Rome, New Brunswick, Amsterdam and Paris, as well as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast and London.
All the results cast on the road will be added to those made during the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival itself. The overall winners will be announced at a ceilidh which will bring the curtain down on the Festival’s six days of whisky, food and fun.
As well as offering unique experiences for those passionate about whisky, such as the chance to visit distilleries not normally open to the public and meet with key individuals from the industry, the programmealso has lots to entertain those with a passing interest in whisky – or none at all.
Events include dinners and food tasting, music and dancing, outdoor and heritage attractions, as well as local community events. The full programme for the festival, including details of the whisky awards judging sessions, will be announced early in 2019 at www.spiritofspeyside.com.