Top 5 Tips on whisky festivals for Whisky Month
May is ‘Whisky Month’ in Scotland, with a host of events up and down the country including World Whisky Day on the 19th, Edinburgh Whisky Stramash (19-20th) and The Islay Festival of Music & Malt (Feis Isle) (25 May to 1st June).
Whisky festivals, especially for first-timers, can be daunting – so how can you make the most of your whisky event or festival experience?
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s ambassador John McCheyne travels the world attending and hosting whisky events – below he shares his top tips on how to get the best out of them.
Whether it’s a one-day event or a week-long festival, there are so many whiskies that you may get lost in the possibilities. Book in advance for the tasting events you really don’t want to miss, and take the time to fully enjoy a particular event, instead of rushing from one to another.
2. Start light, end heavy.
Don’t rush to the peated whiskies straight off the bat. You wouldn’t start a wine tasting with a bombastic Barolo, you’d start with a pinot gris.
3. Whisky festivals can get busy.
So taste your drams away from the madding crowd, sample them properly and appreciate them. Take some notes, then you’ll have a good appreciation of the whiskies you targeted.
4. Remember your ‘festival etiquette’.
Don’t be the person who stands at the front of the table for an extended period monopolising the ambassador and blocking the people behind from getting a dram. Be mindful of how busy the table may be and choose the right moment to have a word or two.
Ambassadors will do their best to engage an enthusiast, but it’s important to be courteous to all the other people there trying to have the same experience.
5. Lastly, talk to the hosts.
They’ll have some fascinating insights into the drams on offer, the stories behind the distilleries, and the whole experience. Take your time, plot your course, don’t make a fool of yourself, and have fun!
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is the world’s leading whisky club and bottler of single cask single malt whisky.
SMWS 20% Off All Memberships Code!
In the spirit of Speyside and Islay, for Feis Ile festival SMWS have a special Region Rumble 20% off code for all memberships and gift memberships!
Offer starts: NOW
Offer ends: 31st May at 23:59
Terms and conditions apply: Only available with code for all memberships and all gift memberships.
Please see our Diary page for details of the Events mentioned!