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Unmissable whisky festivals in 2017

It’s time to plan your whisky getaway(s) for the year with our pick of the top booze-filled festivals – The Spirits Business lines up the finest dram-tastic events across the globe in 2017.

We present the most unmissable whisky festivals of the year

Prepare to breeze through the year with our handy guide to the hottest whisky shows and festivals around the world from Spirit of Speyside to Malt Masters Whisky Festival.

Created for the trade and consumers alike, such events are crucial for scouting out new talent, expanding your knowledge of the world of whisky or simply sipping your way through your favourite drams.

Click through to view our pick of the whisky festival highlights in the year ahead. 

Think we’ve missed any out? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

TWE Whisky Show

Established in 2009 by specialist spirits retailer The Whisky Exchange, the show brings connoisseurs from all over the world to London for a whisky experience with masterclasses, seminars, food pairings and hundreds of different drams to try.

Touted as “the UK’s biggest whisky festival”, the show gives visitors the chance to sample from 50 stands, from which many bottles cost upwards of £1,000. New for 2017, the organisers are to host a new event in Glasgow from 18-19 February 2017, dedicated to “old and rare” expressions.

TWE Whisky Show is held in London on 30 September – 1 October 2017.

For more information, click here.

The Ultimate Whisky Experience

Founded in 2010, the four-day event will host exclusive tastings of the world’s finest whiskies for connoisseurs and collectors alike, as well as intimate opportunities to mingle with master distillers and blenders. This year’s show will include special surprises to celebrate whisky icon Richard Paterson’s 50 years in the industry. The event will also showcase some of the world’s most expensive bottles of Scotch. Total value of whiskies that will be showcased are estimated at more than US$3 million.

The 7th Annual Ultimate Whisky Experience is held in Las Vegas from 5 – 7 April 2017.

For more information click here.

Malt Masters Whisky Festival

The brainchild of Scotsman Ian McKerrow, Malt Masters Whisky Festival was thought to be Hong Kong’s first whisky festival back in 2013.

Four years on the festival is set to showcase a diverse array of whiskies from distilleries around the world including Taketsuru, Isle of Arran, Talisker, Glenlivet, Singleton, Aberlour, Wyoming Whiskey, and Mackmyra.

Dates and venue are to be confirmed for the 2017 festival.

For more information click here.

Feis Ile

Held on Scotland’s most famous whisky island, The Islay Festival of Music and Malt – or Feis Ile – has been hosting whisky lovers from across the globe for more than 30 years. The festival, which is held annually on the last week of May in Islay, features traditional music, ceilidhs, Gaelic lessons, golf, bowling and whisky tastings. Since every single Islay distillery opens its doors throughout the week, it is described as the “most unique” whisky festival in the world.

Feis Ile 2017 will be held from 26 May – 3 June.

For more information click here.

Spirit of Speyside

Now in its 18th year, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is undoubtable one of the world’s biggest festivals hosted in celebration of Scotland’s national tipple. The event offers a programme of music, crafts, and foodie experiences running alongside a range of distillery tours and tastings throughout Speyside. With a programme of more than 500 whisky-inspired events, the festival is a Mecca for the curious beginner and stalwart whisky drinker alike.

Spirit of Speyside is held from 27 April – 1 May 2017.

For more information click here.

Whiskies of the World

Originating in San Francisco, Whiskies of the World is a series of five individual festivals taking place in California, Texas and Georgia. Thought to be the oldest whisky tasting expo in North America, each event will showcase more than 200 spirits, along with their makers and ambassadors, catering for both consumers and trade. Featuring whiskies from Scotland, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Japan and Australia, Whiskies of the World is a must-see event for those who enjoy a dram.

Whiskies of the World returns to San Jose and San Francisco in March 2017, and Houston and Austin in September 2017.

For more information, click here.

Whisky Birmingham

Whisky Birmingham was founded by Amy Setton, who is widely credited with building Birmingham’s now thriving whisky scene from scratch. Through building up a network of distillers and local venues, Setton started running whisky events across the UK before creating The Birmingham Whisky Club. The festival is an afternoon event showcasing 25 exhibitors made up of brands, distilleries, bars, bartenders and bloggers.

Whisky Birmingham is held in Birmingham, UK on Saturday 4 March 2017.

For more information, click here.


The “longest-running” festival in the US rounds off our list. WhiskyFest takes place in four cities: Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco and New York, and offers a selection of more than 350 whiskies from around the world; many of them rare and exclusive. A general ticket to the event includes access to the grand tasting ballroom, a Glencairn crystal nosing glass, tote bag, admission to seminars hosted by master distillers and blenders and a gourmet buffet.

For more information, click here.

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