World Whisky Day 2022: Top drams to celebrate whisky month in Scotland

With World Whisky Day just around the corner, we’ve more choice than ever before.

May in Scotland is known as whisky month and this year it began during the triumphant return to in-person events at the 2022 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.

I attended a few events and spoke to organisers, attendees and businesses supporting the festival. And the overall message from them all was joy to be back to some kind of normality, seeing people enjoying the region again and, from the visitors, the excitement at the chance to explore Scotland.

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While this is a festival designed around the main whisky-producing region of Scotland, and aimed at whisky fans, with over 500 events there’s something for everyone – even those who aren’t as ‘into’ whisky as others.

Last year news broke chef Tom Kitchin, owner and head chef of the one Michelin star restaurant The Kitchin in Leith, suspended two members of staff and launched an investigation amid bullying and assault allegations from former employees.

Much like this festival, the industry as a whole is also booming, with new expressions, in development distilleries and old and rare releases meaning that wherever you are in your whisky journey, it’s likely you’ll find the dram for you. And if you don’t, try it with soda, cola or ice. However you want to drink whisky is absolutely fine, no matter what the old adverts say.

One of the biggest advocates of this way of thinking is Blair Bowman, who founded World Whisky Day back in 2012. It falls on the third Saturday of May, meaning this year it’s Saturday, May 15.

Speaking to The Scotsman, Blair explained this date made sense at the time, adding: “[The year] 2012 was to be the year of Scottish food and drink, and May was designated as whisky month, which it still is. The Spirit of Speyside Festival is the first weekend and the Islay festival is at the end of the month, so it made sense to have World Whisky Day bang in the middle.”

Bowman identified a gap in the market for a day that celebrates our national drink, at a time when it has faded from the spotlight. He sold the concept to Hot Rum Cow in 2015, but still remains an active spokesperson for whisky, the day and enjoying a dram how you want.

The Real Mary King's Close in Edinburgh has teamed up with local whisky experts to host a series of whisky-themed tours and tastings underneath Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. Photo: Chris Watt

As the industry continues to get to grips with its past and open up to new audiences, as well as riding this high of innovation, development and sheer amount of liquid available, it feels like there’s never been a better time to start trying – or continuing to explore – whisky.

Top 3 drams for World Whisky Day

Glenfiddich - This absolute powerhouse of a distillery continues to push the boundaries with its experimental series and has just launched Glenfiddich Orchard Experiment. The whisky is finished in Somerset Pomona spirit casks. It sounds ideal for summer, and is £42 from Sainsbury’s.

Loch Lomond Whiskies have recently unveiled a rare 46-Year-Old single malt whisky, marking the second release in its Remarkable Stills Series. Limited to just 200 bottles globally, and with an RRP of £4,500, this is one for serious whisky fans with a big budget.

Nc’nean’s Organic Single Malt, £49.95, is the first whisky released to the public by this new, independent distillery. Organic, made with renewable energy and bottled in the UK’s first-ever 100 per cent recycled clear glass bottle, the whisky showcases Nc’nean’s commitment to protecting the environment.

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