Highland Whisky Festival in the works

Left to right, distillers Eric Walker of Glen Ord, Graham Eunson of Glenmorangie, Andrew Scott of Dalmore and John MacDonald of Balblair.

Four distilleries are teaming up for the first Highland Whisky Festival, scheduled for June 2-3 in the Ross-shire area of Scotland.

The participants are Balblair at Edderton, Dalmore at Alness, Glenmorangie at Tain and Glen Ord at Muir of Ord. Each will host a series of “master classes” and work with local business to provide food sampling and coopers’ displays.

Each also will conduct guided tours. In the case of Balblair that's a change of procedure since the distillery usually is not open to the public.

Eric Walker, senior manager with the Glen Ord Group, said at a press conference announcing the project, “As a company, Diageo has a long association with the tourism industry across Scotland. I am delighted that we have been able to build on these links along with our whisky industry colleagues, to support the inaugural Highland Whisky Festival in this way.”

ScotlandWhisky, an industry umbrella group formed in 2003 to encourage tourism in the country, is working with each of the distilleries to prepare the festival. Chris Conway, of ScotlandWhisky, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity to work with four leading Highland distilleries to bring together a prestigious event. It is especially encouraging that these great whisky brands have come together with the common objective to grow whisky tourism in the Highlands outwith the peak tourism season. This co-ordinated approach from distilleries has been highly successful in other areas of Scotland and there is clearly a demand for such events from the consumer.”

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