Several thousand festival-goers celebrated Scotland’s national drink at one of the world’s largest whisky festivals as it made its full and in-person return last week after the pandemic.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which is held in the world-famous Speyside region; the global epicentre of ‘the water of life’ attracted visitors from over 29 countries, from North America to Norway and Malaysia to name but a few, to the six-day celebration.

Now in its 23rd year, an impressive array of over 550 events ensured that there was something for everyone, with a mix of both brand-new experiences and firm favourites returning to the line-up.

Festival goers enjoyed exclusive access to world famous distilleries usually off-limits to the public, and were able to fully immerse themselves in the region and discover all that Speyside has to offer, from rolling mountains to the Moray coastline and the very best of Scotland’s larder.

Speaking of the Festival’s success, George McNeil, Chairman, commented:

“The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival brings together so many of our local companies and craftspeople, creating a second-to-none selection of events for people from near and far. This year, as we returned to an in-person event, I was encouraged to see so many overseas visitors joining local people to share their enthusiasm for all that Speyside offers.

“Speyside’s draw to local, national, and international visitors with a taste for Scotland’s national drink is evident. I am proud the people of Speyside welcomed back so many people to an area I am lucky enough to call home, to enjoy the experiences, the produce and of course the spirit that make this region so special.

“With over 550 successful events, I would like to raise a dram to everyone who has worked so hard to bring the Festival back to life and showcase the very best of our iconic whisky region once again and we all look forward to the next celebration.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

“I was delighted that EventScotland was able to work with Spirit of Speyside, funding such a uniquely Scottish event through our International Programme. This support furthered their efforts to reach audiences both locally and abroad, encouraging visitors to Speyside to enjoy all the region has to offer from its stunning landscapes to, of course, its whisky.

From Star Wars themed events, with 25% of all ticket sales going to Cancer Research in memory of the ultimate Star Wars and whisky fan Brett Ferencz - whose Scotch Trooper alter ego always made people smile - to a clandestine Land Rover safari tour stopping off at several historical whisky smuggling sites, including a secret illicit still location in The Glenlivet hills, the 2022 programme has been one of the most diverse to date. "

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