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Whisky festival fever

Festivals are a great opportunity for the intrepid whisky adventurer to try new malts. Here’s our pick of some of the best for 2012. Known to sell out in a matter of hours, the Victoria Whisky Festival, British Columbia, Canada (19-22 Jan, boasts an extensive line-up of top whisky names. WhiskyFest Chicago

(23 Mar, whiskyfest_chicago.asp) is a one- day event in the US, featuring 250 whiskies, plus seminars, tastings and master classes.

The Whisky Fair, Limburg, Germany (28-29 April, has a reputation as something of an Aladdin’s cave of rarities and independent bottlings. Now in its 13th year, the

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, Speyside (3-7 May, showcases the whisky, food, music and culture of the region. A newcomer this year, the

Spirit of Stirling Whisky festival, Stirling (12 May, Spiritofstirlingwhiskyfestival., promises to bring together the best Scotch malt whiskies with local culture. The Islay Festival (25 May – 3 Jun, is a full week of music, whisky and island culture in beautiful surroundings. Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival (Sep/Oct, dates tbc is a hugely popular and vibrant festival that never stands still. Glasgow’s Whisky Festival

(17 Nov, Glasgowswhiskyfestival. com) is a slick affair, set in the city’s hip and atmospheric Arches arts venue. Expect some excellent whiskies from Scotland and beyond. Tickets for the event are on sale now. Whisky Live (Whiskylive.

com) – in terms of sheer global reach, taking place across 17 countries from the USA to Taipei, Whisky Live is the daddy of them all. Count on finding top distillers and industry big-hitters, all vying for your attention.

Which festivals do you rate and recommend? We’d like to hear from you – post your top tips on the Unfiltered Facebook page at unfilteredmagazine

The main event!


The Vaults in Leith hosted a celebration of the 100th edition of Whisky Magazine in late November, with special guests, dinner and an exclusive tasting of Society and other bottlings, selected by the magazine. Guests were welcomed


with two

beautiful drams in the Whisky

Room, by Annabel Meikle (above, centre), Venue Manager at the Vaults, and Rob Allanson (above, left), Editor of Whisky Magazine. A three-course dinner was then served, with more drams

and a typically witty speech from legendary whisky writer

Charles Maclean (above, right), whose tales of the magazine’s early days and staff are (sadly) unrepeatable. The evening ended with every guest being presented with three

special commemorative copies of the 100th edition of Whisky Magazine, each with a different cover. “It was a great celebration of this milestone for the magazine and a real celebration of the friendship and passion for whisky which brings us all together,” said Annabel.



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