Women’s role in whisky celebrated with festival

11th April, 2014 by Becky Paskin

Female distillers, blenders, educators and writers will be celebrated this 3 May in the inaugural International Women of Whisky Day (IWOWD).


Ann Miller, international brand ambassador for Chivas Brothers is backing the inaugural International Women of Whisky Day

Launched by the Spirit of Speyside whisky festival, held in Scotland’s Speyside region from 1-5 May, IWOWD aims to raise a toast to the ladies who have turned the perception of whisky as a man’s drink upside down.

James Campbell, chairman of the Spirit of Speyside, said: “The perception of whisky being a man’s drink has been completely altered over the past decade – it’s now estimated that nearly one-third of whisky drinkers in the UK alone are female.

“We are also seeing a growing number of women taking on key roles in the industry, from production managers to brand ambassadors. Women are now hugely influential and we felt it was about time that we celebrated the contribution they are making.”

The first IWOWD will see a number of influential women in whisky host a series of masterclasses at the festival.

Canadian whisky writer Johanne McInnis (aka Whisky Lassie), will lead a seminar entitled Introduction to the Sensipedia of Whisky, inviting participants to use all five senses when evaluating whisky.

Alwynne Gwilt (aka Miss Whisky), also the current Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival International Ambassador of the Year, will lead a chocolate and whisky pairing session.

Whisky writer Annabel Meikle (aka The Whisky Belle) will explore the language of whisky and tips for writing tasting notes.

Angela D’Orazio, master blender of Sweden’s Mackmyra Distillery will share the secrets behind the Scandinavian whisky, while Ann Miller, international brand ambassador for Chivas Brothers will run a guided walk along the James Fleming Trail, providing an insight into the man who founded the Aberlour Distillery.

“International Women of Whisky Day is a fantastic way to recognise the contribution made to the industry by women not just in Scotland but all over the world,” Miller said.

“It will also help to underline the opportunities that exist to develop a career in the whisky industry, which is no longer the once male-dominated place that it used to be. It is essential that we encourage new blood – whether female or male – into the Scotch whisky industry to ensure it continues to go from strength to strength.”

Whisky fans can show their own appreciation for women in whisky by following the Twitter hashtag #IWOWD.

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