Highlands to get new Scotch whisky festival

3rd January, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

Eight Scotch distilleries have joined forces to launch a new whisky festival to celebrate the Highland Whisky Trail.

Eight Highland distilleries will host whisky lovers for the Highland Whisky Festival in May

The Highland Whisky Festival, which will be held on 10-17 May 2019, will mark the distilleries on the North Coast 500 route.

The distilleries taking part are: Balblair, Clynelish, Glenmorangie, Old Pulteney, The Dalmore, The Singleton of Glen Ord, Tomatin and Wolfburn.

Each distillery will host an open day with exclusive events, tastings and tours. The festival will also partner with the region’s attractions and business.

Festival coordinator Katie Waugh said: “Building on the successes of both the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival and Islay Whisky Festival and with the continuing increase in whisky tourism especially along the North Coast 500 we identified an opportunity for the Highland distilleries to have a festival of their own.”

The North Coast 500 route added £9 million (US$11.3m) worth of revenue to the region alone, with an additional 29,000 visitors between 2016-17.

Scotch whisky tourism reached a record high in 2017 as 1.9m people visited distilleries across Scotland. Spending at visitor centres was also up by 15.6% to £60.9m (US$76.6m) in 2017.

Chris Taylor, Visit Scotland’s regional leadership director, said: “Whisky is one of Scotland’s most valuable commodities, attracting visitors from all over the world, with one in five visitors making a trip to a whisky distillery during their stay.

“As one of the largest whisky producing regions in Scotland, the Highlands is a veritable paradise for lovers of a wee dram with whisky a vital part of local tourism.”

Tickets for the festival will be on sale from early March.

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