Following the success of the first-ever international day to celebrate the wonders of whisky, held in March this year, World Whisky Day is now to become a permanent annual fixture.
World Whisky Day invites all those with a love of the dram to set up a whisky event. The inaugural World Whisky Day was a huge success, involving some 20,000 people around the globe. More than 180 events took place - from Seattle to Singapore, and Helsinki to Hobart - set up by restaurants, bars, distilleries, societies, clubs, shops, and individual whisky enthusiasts.
The announcement for World Whisky Day 2013 comes during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight. World Whisky Day will take place on 18 May and the organisers hope the day will act as a focal point on the calendar for people to consider coming to Scotland to join celebrations in the home of whisky.
The Scottish Government, VisitScotland, Scotland Food & Drink and the Scottish Whisky Experience are supportive of the initiative.
"Over 200,000 people visited Ireland this year for St Patrick's day to enjoy a Guinness - so why not come to Scotland, the home of whisky, to celebrate World Whisky Day?" said Blair Bowman, the founder of World Whisky Day. "I still cannot believe how much support the first World Whisky Day received. Now that the government and other organisations are getting behind the initiative it is sure to be an even bigger success - which is good news for the whisky industry and good news for Scotland." He also added: "I encourage everyone to pre-register their World Whisky Day events for 2013 at WorldWhiskyDay.com and find us on Facebook and Twitter to get involved."
Scotland's Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has been impressed by the enthusiasm and excitement for Scotch that World Whisky Day has helped generate. He said: "Whisky is an iconic product that is renowned internationally for it's unique taste and high quality. Millions of discerning drinkers enjoy a dram and there is a taste of Scotland in every glass. I'm sure that World Whisky Day can build on the success of its launch this year, with many people in Scotland and around the world getting involved on 18 May."
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: "Whisky is undoubtedly one of our most valuable icons when marketing Scotland overseas and it is a huge draw for visitors. Not only is whisky so well known and instantly synonymous with Scotland, it is a high quality product that positions the country very well in the minds of potential visitors from the UK and across the world. It is fitting that our national drink should be honoured and celebrated during World Whisky Day."
Susan Morrison, Director of the Scotch Whisky Experience - which is owned by 95% of the whisky industry - welcomed the idea of World Whisky Day. She said: "We are delighted that World Whisky Day will be celebrated in May 2013. For anyone interested in whisky it is wonderful to have a recognised day when enthusiasts and novices alike can celebrate Scotch Whisky in their own way. It is particularly significant for us next year as we celebrate our 25th anniversary, marking the opening of The Scotch Whisky Experience (then Heritage Centre) in May 1988."
James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said: "The announcement of next year's event in May comes during Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, the annual celebration of our Land of Food and Drink. World Whisky Day is a fantastic initiative which celebrates Scotland's internationally recognised iconic drink. I have every confidence that last year's success will be built upon and the event will become an annual fixture which celebrates our biggest export on a world stage."