‘Distilled’ festival is declared an official success

All that was best in local Whisky, Gin, Rum and Beer was at the mini-festival.

All that was best in local Whisky, Gin, Rum and Beer was at the mini-festival.

MORAY AND SPEYSIDE’S first autumn festival celebrating the region’s food and drink industry has been declared as an official success.

Hundreds turned out at Spirit of Speyside: Distilled over the weekend – ensuring that the first ever holding of the mini-festival to complement the ‘main event’ each Spring was an unqualified hit.

Large crowds of people flocked to Elgin where some of the region’s most coveted and iconic brands stood shoulder to shoulder with smaller producers growing in name and reputation – all to showcase the ingredients that make the region a delight for food and drink lovers.

Billed as ‘one region under one roof,’, the 30 plus exhibitors included a range of distilleries responsible for producing world famous brands like Aberlour, Benromach, Cardhu, Cragganmore, The Glenlivet, Glen Moray, Benromach, Macallan, Glenfiddich and Glen Grant. There were also craft breweries, gin makers, and specialists in shortbread, ice cream, soup, coffee and tea, bakery and tablet making and more.

Spirit of Speyside: Distilled manager Pery Zakeri said: “We had fantastic crowds and there was a great atmosphere. People turned out with their friends to enjoy a range of excellent flavours and they weren’t disappointed.

“It was a really relaxed environment and we had people from the local area who said that seeing all the food and drink businesses in one venue really brought home the range of great tastes there are in Speyside.

“Others travelled from further much afield including Canada, the USA, Norway and Germany in order to be part of our first festival of this kind and they equally enjoyed the experience.

“It was heartening to see the best of Speyside’s food and drink industry come together, from the big names in the drinks business that have a global following to smaller producers that may be less known outside the local area.

“Whisky is of major importance in Speyside, but I think this festival has helped show that it is very well complemented by the gin, beer and food producers who joined us in showcasing Speyside’s local larder.”

Focus now returns to the Spirit of Speyside – the annual five-day event that has grown to become a highly anticipated annual event drawing visitors from around the world.

The 2017 festival takes place from April 27 to May 1 at venues across Speyside – and while the full programme is still being worked on, it will include talks, tours and tastings, heritage walks, a whisky school, whisky with food pairings, whisky menus and more. In all it is likely there will be around 500 events over multiple venues.

We are three-quarters of the way there – so please keep backing insideMoray’s bid to continue providing its Community News service in 2017 – visit our Crowdfunding Page for details.