The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is set to raise a glass to Scotland’s national drink and open its doors to the people and passion behind some of the finest whiskies available.

Tickets are on sale from Saturday 1st February for the annual festival, which draws thousands of visitors from all over the globe. It will run this year from May 1st- 5th in the heart of the world’s best known whisky region.

And this year the festival has been chosen to kick off Whisky Month which is part of the Year of Homecoming Scotland programme. Whisky Month celebrates Scotland's diverse food and drink offering and will include an array of activities including events, festivals, and unique tastings and tours throughout the month of May, emphasising the warm hospitality that Scotland is famed for.

Festival Chairman James Campbell says organisers are looking forward to welcoming back old festival friends, as well as those who will be attending the internationally renowned event for the first time.

He says, “The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is unique in offering visitors the chance to not only sample some of the best whiskies in the world but also learn about the passion and tradition that goes into producing them.

“More than 300 events are taking place over five days so whisky aficionados and novices alike will find something to suit them. Our partners have really pulled out all the stops and created an outstanding programme of events from tasting sessions and our world-class whisky school to canoe tours and ‘drambles’ between our famous distilleries.

“The Year of Homecoming Scotland also gives us the opportunity to celebrate our history and offer a warm Scottish welcome to international visitors. We are proud to have been chosen as the launch event for Whisky Month and it’s the perfect chance to raise a glass of our world famous malt whiskies.”

The Speyside region contains more than half of all Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries and each one produces a whisky with its own distinguished set of characteristics. During the Festival, a large number of distilleries will open their doors for public tours, nosings and tastings – some for the very first time in history.

Tickets will be available on the new look Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival website from 1900 GMT on 1st February. The new website offers quick and easy access to information about all of the festival’s events and partners, and aims to enhance the quality and availability of information to local and international visitors alike.

James adds, “The Speyside locals are always more than happy to offer a warm welcome to visiting tourists, and that is no different during the five days of the whisky festival. There is always such a vibrant atmosphere as thousands of visitors arrive and join in locals in celebrating all things whisky – there’s no better way to encapsulate the true Spirit of Speyside and the essence of Homecoming.”

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