For International Women’s Day, 8 March, Spirit of Speyside has curated some of the festival’s top events developed by fabulous women in whisky.
As the festival explores the national spirit’s deep heritage, it aims to place a spotlight on some of the incredible women who are instrumental in the industry.
The Dram Queen, Ann Miller
An acknowledged expert in whisky, Ann was one of the first women to be an International Brand Ambassador and now offers tailor-made, personalised whisky experiences, including tastings, and shares her passion, knowledge and behind the scenes expertise.
Ann is hosting multiple events at the whisky festival, including ‘Stories of Women in Scotch Whisky’, a talk tracing the contribution made to distilling in Speyside by some notable women since the days of illicit distillation, with a selection of drams to bring their stories to life.
The event ‘What is Speyside? A region, a style, a story?’ will take visitors to Ann’s own dram room to explore the evolving nature of Speyside and its history and sense of place over a varied selection of interesting drams.
The Dowans Hotel - Steph and Lauren Murray
Steph and Lauren Murray, Spirit of Speyside Ambassadors are a sister pair who constantly work to give back to the community and have been the driving force behind the transformation of The Dowans Hotel.
The offering of ‘an evening with’ Steph and Lauren discussing the stories and secrets of the whisky industry has already been filled by high demand, but the sisters have welcomed a selection of festival events to take place at The Dowans Hotel.
Events include a Tamnavulin & Dessert Pairing with a guided whisky tasting from Gregor Campbell of Whyte & Mackay paired with desserts provided by the hotel’s pastry chef and An Evening of Balvenie Stories discovering The Balvenie Stories collection and the parallels of storytelling and whisky-making, with the characters and other elements that brought them into being.
Cardhu Distillery, Aberlour
The first distillery to be officially pioneered by a woman, Cardhu’s founders Helen and Elizabeth Cumming, were treasured for their determination, skill, generosity, and loyalty to the community. Festival events at Cardhu provide a journey through Cardhu’s founding by two generations of resolute women.
Cardhu’s Flavour Journey featuring PERK doughnuts tells this story with a full-sensory, field-to-glass tour culminating in the Tasting Kitchen where guests will enjoy three drams that PERK have expertly paired with their delicious doughnuts, finished off with a cocktail.
The Cardhu Cask Experience allows visitors to sample 6 whiskies directly from specially selected casks within the warehouse that showcase the diverse single malt whiskies produced in the Speyside region.
Festival Coordinator Angela McOwan said: “With visitors joining us from around the world to discover what makes Speyside so special, it’s so important to us that they hear the whole story – and that means shining a light on the women in the industry.
“Speyside would not have cultivated its incredible history or be the region it is today without the work of the passionate, pioneering women behind the scenes.”
Tickets for the festival are available here.