The city of Edinburgh is known for being the world’s leading festival city. In August alone the city plays host to five different festivals – meaning there is always a little something for everyone.
To help you get into that “festival spirit” we’ve chosen eight different Scotch whiskies for you to try, each of which have their own story about taking part in their very own festivals all over the country!
Lowlands – Auchentoshan 18
Of course, Edinburgh isn’t the only city that hosts many different festivals. Take Glasgow for example, who host their own music festivals, comedy festivals, and of course whisky festivals. In fact, the Glasgow Whisky Festival takes place on the 9th of November if you want an excuse to visit the “Dear Green Place”!
The Auchentoshan distillery is close to Glasgow and is typical of a Lowland style single malt. Auchentoshan is also a distillery that practices triple distillation which means it is much lighter in character compared to other Scotch whiskies. The 18-year-old expression has aromas and flavours of green tea, almonds, barley sugar and tangerines.
Highlands – Tomatin 18
The highland region is also home to some cracking festivals and events and this year we saw the inaugural launch of the Highland Whisky Festival! This is a brand new whisky festival that helps to showcase the eight distilleries which are located on the world-renowned “North Coast 500” route.
One such distillery is the Tomatin. We have selected the 18-year-old expression which has been matured in traditional oak casks and Oloroso Sherry butts helping to impart aromas and flavours of chocolate, spices and a rich sweetness.
Speyside – The Glenlivet 18
It should come as no surprise that Scotland’s whisky producing capital – Speyside – is home to its own whisky festival! The Spirit of Speyside Festival is fast becoming an “must do” for whisky aficionados! There are plenty of tastings and events taking place throughout the regions and you even get to visit some distilleries that are not normally open to the public!
The Glenlivet is probably one of the most recognisable whisky names in the world, and the 18-year-old expression is something quite special. This dram will have loads of fruity aromas like pears and apples but you will also find a bit of spice on the palate as well.
Campbeltown – Glen Scotia 18
The Campbeltown region is also home to its own festival; the Campbeltown Malts Festival, which showcases the best of what the three distilleries in the region they have to offer. During the festival, there are distillery open days, whisky dinners, tastings, craft stalls, live music, local food producers, and walking tours. The town really does come alive!
Glen Scotia 18 is an expression that has been finished in Oloroso Sherry casks, which means that alongside the sweetness and sea-spray you normally associate with Glen Scotia, there is also a spiciness note.
Islay – Smokehead
If you venture to the island of Islay, then you may well be heading to what is considered to be the pinnacle of all Scotch whisky festivals; Feis Ile! During the Islay Festival (or Feish Ile, which is pronounced “fayshe aisle”) every distillery on the island will have their own open day alongside many different whisky tastings and events. What’s more, most of the distilleries will also release a unique and limited Islay festival expression to mark the occasion, which are collectors’ items in their own right!
To represent Islay, we have chosen Smokehead which is an independent bottling. We don’t know which distillery this whisky comes from (except that it’s from Islay). All we know is that it packs a punch! The whisky itself is classic in terms of its style; it’s smoky, maritime, and oily!
Deluxe – Jura 21 Tide
Jura is an island that is very rarely visited due to its close proximity to Islay, and it is also notoriously difficult to get to. If you manage to make the journey you will be more than rewarded. This is especially true if you visit at the end of September to enjoy the Jura Music Festival, when traditional Scottish bands and musicians visit. Some bands even perform inside the local distillery’s cooperage!
This 21-year-old Jura is quite a new expression from the distillery, and it has been finished in virgin American Oak casks which means that it has a lot of sweetness and oak spice aromas and flavours alongside ginger, caramel, and frangipane.
Blended – Johnnie Walker 18
Back home in Edinburgh we have five different festivals taking place throughout the month of August! This includes the International Festival, the Fringe Festival, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Art Festival, and the Book Festival! There really is something for everyone here in Edinburgh during August.
The official whisky for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year is Johnnie Walker, and the 18-year-old is particularly special. This is a blend that is made up of 18 different whiskies, and it is incredibly mellow, fruity, and sweet.
Liqueur – Magnum
Of course, August isn’t the only time there are festivities taking place in Scotland. There’s always something happening no matter what time of the year, whether it’s Burns Night at the end of January to Christmas and Hogmanay at the end of the year.
The definition of a Christmas or New Year festive liqueur is Magnum, a cream liqueur that is the epitome of decadence. Even during August, this is a perfect drink to savour over ice.
Feeling inspired to go to a whisky festival yourself? If so, check out our other blogs posts about whisky festivals and what to expect if you ever visit Campbeltown or Islay!