Speyside Festival

Speyside Festival

Another sensational event with record ticket sales

News | 03 Jun 2016 | Issue 136 | By Rupert Wheeler

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The final drams have been sipped at the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival - but organisers are already preparing to do it all over again. The festival finished on Monday, 2 May after over 500 events and now the team behind the world famous Festival are putting plans in place for a second event in the early autumn.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival took place over five days in the heart of Scotland's best loved whisky producing region, drawing thousands of visitors from home and abroad for a programme combining the country's national drink with music, food and fun.

New records were set when tickets went on sale for the Festival's biggest ever programme earlier in the year. Festival chairman James Campbell says this year's gathering in whisky's spiritual home was one of the best on record.

He adds, "It will take us a little bit of time to find out what the overall numbers were, but the area was extremely busy for the full five days and, most importantly, everyone I saw and spoke to had nothing but great things to say."

All eyes are now on Spirit of Speyside - Distilled, which will take place in Elgin Town Hall on to 9-11 September . It will bring together Speyside's whisky producers under one roof on their own doorstep for the very first time.

The event will also include local gin and craft beer, along with a wide range of food producers, showing off the extent of Speyside's larder. For further details visit


Willie Cochrane retires from Jura Distillery

Jura Single Malt Whisky raises a glass to much-loved Distillery Manager, Willie Cochrane, as he retires after an incredible 39 year career.

He hands over the reins to Graham Logan, a former Jura Mash/Stillman who has worked at Willie's side for over two decades, helping Jura become the thriving success it is today.

Willie has been a 'Diurach' - since 1977, when he arrived on the island planning to stay for just a year. Initially he had little knowledge of whisky, but his passion was ignited and he proved his talent for crafting extraordinary single malts by working his way up from Mash/ Stillman to Distillery Manager 11 years ago.

Whisky lovers invited to be part of Dartmoor Distillery

Devon's first whisky distillery, Dartmoor Whisky Distillery, is giving whisky enthusiasts the chance to play a key role in getting the distillery up and running by crowdfunding through Kickstarter.

The young and ambitious distillery will be located in the Old Town Hall in Bovey Tracey, right on the edge of Dartmoor. Founders, Greg Millar and Simon Crow, have purchased a beautiful copper cognac still, the Old Town Hall premises and have entirely self-funded this project to the point of having the still ready for installation. Now, they look to the whisky loving community to help kickstart production.

CoFounder Greg Millar says, "We have 45 days to raise an ambitious £25,000. This will purchase the beer wash for our first distillations. We have some attractive rewards on offer, from Dartmoor Distillery whisky glasses, through to making your own barrel of whisky. We welcome everyone and anyone to be part of our exciting Kickstarter project."

Dartmoor Whisky Distillery will be offering rewards in exchange for pledges ranging from £5 to £5,000. The campaign went live on 4 May 2016, for just 45 days, so whisky lovers who want a piece of the action are encouraged to act quickly to ensure they get the reward they want.

Scotched on the rock

The story surrounding a giant piece of rock in China engraved with the name of a Scotch whisky has gone around the world and back again. Two months on, several leading academics have weighed in with possible explanations. But, despite the theories, the 'Scotch on the rock' mystery remains unsolved.

The story broke after construction workers in China uncovered a rock with the word Glenturret, the name of Scotland's oldest working distillery. What they were puzzled about was the connection to Glenturret.

Author, historian and China expert Robert Bickers came forward to solve at least part of the story. The University of Bristol professor uncovered a cutting from a China newspaper story in 1929 which confirms that a Dr Main named his house 'Glenturret', but is there more?
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