Raise Your Glass: A Toast to the 2023 Highland Whisky Festival
This year sees the exciting return of the highly successful Highland Whisky Festival.
The Highland Whisky Festival is a celebration of the region’s finest distilleries on the North Coast 500 route. Taking place between the 22nd – 30th September, Balblair, Clynelish, Glenmorangie, Old Pulteney, The Dalmore, The Singleton of Glen Ord, Tomatin, Brora, and anCnoc, will each host visitors from around the world, offering them the fantastic chance to witness centuries of tradition, process and craft through exclusive tastings, tours and events.
Whether you’re a seasoned whisky connoisseur or a newbie eager to explore the world of Scotch whisky, there’s something for everyone at the Highland Whisky Festival. Here are some of our favorite events from the festival.
Ready to offer you a warm Highland welcome at this year’s festival will be Clynelish Distillery. Situated in the village of Brora, Clynelish is a renowned distillery known for producing distinctive and flavourful single malt Scotch Whisky. Join them on-site on the 23rd of September where you’ll find a variety of food vendors, a bar, live musicians, a performance from The Highland Magician and some bespoke field games for your enjoyment.
Check out some of the captivating events and experiences Clynelish will be hosting at this year’s festival:
CLYNELISH WITH CHOCOLATE – If you would like to treat your taste buds and explore flavour in new ways, this is the experience for you. Take a journey through Clynelish’s dramatic story and flavourful field-to-glass whisky process all while tasting some of the best the Highlands has to offer. This luxurious tasting experience consists of three delicious drams each accompanied by delectable handmade chocolate which has been specially selected as the perfect flavour pairing.
CLYNELISH UNLOCKED – The perfect experience for whisky enthusiasts, you can join their Senior Site Manager, Pauline Ogilvie, for a behind-the-scenes exclusive tour of their magnificent distillery followed by a tasting of whiskies personally selected by the distillery team. This unique experience culminates with filling-your-own bottle of a Distillery-exclusive, cask-strength Clynelish whisky.
CLYNELISH COCKTAIL MASTERCLASS – Join for an exciting adventure in cocktail making and learn how to be your own mixologist. Led by two of their expert bar staff, you will have the opportunity to create delicious cocktails catered to your palate. Not a whisky fan? Not a problem! They have something for everyone with gin, vodka and bourbon alternatives. The perfect Saturday afternoon activity.
CLYNELISH OPERATOR LED TOUR – Back by popular demand, and for one day only! Discover where Clynelish make their elusive single malt from the makers themselves, join Coby, their senior operator and Daisy their lead guide, for an in-depth, process-led tour of Clynelish followed by a tasting of their favourite drams.
Nearby Clynelish lies the Brora Distillery where the gates have remained shut since 1983. The myth of a legend kept alive only by whispered tales of Brora’s skilled craftspeople, passed down through generations. A distillery suspended in time, Brora opened its gates in 2021 again after three years of meticulous brick by brick restoration as part of a major investment, crafting new spirit for generations to come. For decades Brora has been viewed as one of the lost icons of the whisky world. During its time of closure, the distillery and its whisky gained legendary status among whisky connoisseurs the world over. Now, for the first time since its revival, Brora Distillery is opening its wildcat gates to visitors of the Highland Whisky Festival for three exclusive opportunities to discover its legendary spirit as well as taste a selection of drams from its precious and dwindling stocks.
Festival goers can join them on the 23rd of September for a day filled with fun, interesting experiences including:
An Introduction to the Legendary Brora with Master Distiller Jackie Robertson – Join Brora’s Master Distiller Jackie Robertson for an in depth production tour of the transformed iconic distillery and discover firsthand the journey undertaken in not only recreating a legendary liquid and reviving distilling techniques of the past but also the painstaking renovation of the historical buildings themselves.
Andrew Flatt’s Exclusive Tasting Invitation – Join Brora’s Host Andrew Flatt in the distillery’s hallowed warehouse, who has personally selected three drams for a very special guided tasting from Brora’s historic and precious stocks. From Brora’s exclusive distillery release to a selection from the treasured anthology of whiskies, Prima & Ultima, guests will be guided through an unforgettable selection of precious Single malts.
A Highland Welcome at Brora Distillery – Step through the iconic wildcat gates and discover our picturesque courtyard as we extend a warm Highland welcome to you. Meet some of Brora’s craftspeople and discover the distillery’s storied past as well as its plans for the future.
On Sunday the 24th, come and experience the artistry of the incredible Singleton Distillery. Nestled in the heart of the Highlands, the renowned distillery has been crafting exceptional single malt whiskies for generations. Join them onsite on the 24th of September where they will have MEILS ice cream (with The Singleton Sauce), Coffee pod, Ollis Pops and Whisky Away.
If you would like a deeper dive into the distillery, you can also book the following experiences:
THE SINGLETON x BLACK ISLE BREWERY – United by a shared passion for Highland craft, join The Singleton and The Black Isle Brewery for a whisky and beer sample session. Paired alongside unique and interesting bar snacks sourced from across Scotland.
SLOW CRAFT STORIES: WAREHOUSE 5 EXPEREINCE – Join their Assistant Manager on a journey of flavour in warehouse 5 where you will hear warehouse stories of days gone by. Visit the atmospheric Warehouse where thousands of casks lay resting, slowly crafting the perfect flavours of The Singleton. It’s here you will embark on your journey of flavour. The 5 whiskies you’ll sample in the warehouse have been expertly curated to showcase unique maturation styles and include a selection of distillery exclusive bottles. Just like this experience, The Singleton aims to ensure that your first sip is not just something you enjoy: it’s something you truly remember.
A DELICIOUS EXPERENCE: CANAPES AND COCKTAILS – Whisky in cocktails? Why not! Shake things up at their Cocktail Masterclass, and create three delicious Singleton cocktails. Led by one of their expert guides, you will leave with a new set of skills and stories to go with them. Embrace the extraordinary, exuberant, and epicurean world of The Singleton and enjoy a combination of canapés and cocktails inspired by decadent dining. Hosted by one of their enthusiastic guides, you’ll discover how to create your own fabulous drinks, perfect for serving at your next dinner party.
TASTE THE SINGLETON – Tantalise your taste buds by spending 40mins sampling 3 delicious The Singleton drams paired with their signature sweet treat. You’ll be guided thought this experience by one of their passionate hosts. The perfect introduction to their world class whiskies.
THE SINGLETON FOOD FUSION – The Singleton distillery experience at Glen Ord invites visitors to discover the delicious, slow crafted spirit of the Singleton perfectly paired with Asian infused Scottish Canapes along the way.
The Highland Whisky Festival is a journey through Scotland’s soul. It’s a celebration of tradition, landscapes, and the warmth of the people who create the liquid gold. Join us this September for an unforgettable adventure.
The Highlands await, ready to unveil their secrets, one dram at a time.
Reminder: A free shuttle bus service will be running consistently throughout the day between Golspie, Brora and the distillery. The bus will be leaving Golspie on the hour from 12pm stopping at Brora Fountain Square at quarter past each hour on the, the last bus leaving the distillery in the evening taking people home will leave at 8:30pm.