MORE than 70,000 people are expected to attend events the length and breadth of the country as part of Scotland’s first ever national celebration of malt whisky.
Some 19 different events will be staged as part of the inaugural Whisky Month, which is billed as one of the centrepieces of the country’s second Year of Homecoming initiative.
One-off festivals, initiatives and themed events will be promoted alongside some of the industry’s long-established favourites in the likes of Islay and Speyside.
Among the venues taking part will be The Arches nightclub in Glasgow, the Eden Brewery in St Andrews, the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, Gordon Castle in Moray, and the home of Loch Fyne Oysters in Argyll.
The month-long celebration will feature a touring production of Whisky Galore, Mull Theatre’s adaptation of Compton Mackenzie’s famous book, a whisky showcase at the Bute Jazz Festival and the transformation of an old milk factory in Leith into a pop-up sampling venue.
Scottish rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Whisky is one of Scotland’s most iconic products, one which is enjoyed here at home and across the world in more than 170 countries – and our second Year of Homecoming is the ideal time to encourage more visitors, both international and domestic, to enjoy the very best Scotland has to offer.”
“Whisky Month is the perfect opportunity to celebrate and shine a light on the quality, provenance, traditions and innovations that go into our national drink and I look forward to raising a glass to Scotland’s finest during May’s festivities.”
Caroline Packman, Homecoming director at VisitScotland, said: “Homecoming is a great opportunity to place the spotlight on our greatest assets, so it’s only fitting that whisky is at the heart of a fantastic month-long variety of events.
“Whisky Month in May is a perfect time for visitors to come to Scotland and for locals to experience the fantastic range of events right on their doorstep.”