We pulled the cork on Dry January about a week ago. Just as well, ‘cos the National Whisky Festival takes place this Saturday.
Part of Celtic Connections – which launches on Thursday night – this is the second year that the National Whisky Festival is being held at SWG3 on Eastvale Place.
As well as over a hundred whiskies to sample, visitors can look forward to whisky-themed arts and crafts; some fantastic bands and delicious street food.
The whisky companies appearing include Ardbeg, Bruichladdich, Glenmorangie, Eden Mill, Lagavulin, Talisker, Loch Lomond, Wemyss Malts, Benromach, Morrison + Mackay, Copper Dog, Islay Boys, Glasgow Distillery Company, Annandale, Finnieston Distillery, Clydeside Distillery, Frasier Liqueur, Paul John, Nikka, Yamazakura, Spey, Wolfburn, Douglas Laing, Jura and many more.
Babu Bombay Street Kitchen, Hen of the Woods and The White Goose will all be serving up dishes so that no-one has to drink on an empty stomach.
National Whisky Festival: drams in the dark
There will also be a series of master classes running throughout the day. We particularly liked the idea of Drams in the Dark with Blair Bowman.
The author of The Pocket Guide to Whisky will be leading his guests through a tutored tasting of several drams in complete darkness.
The bands taking part include Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit; the folk band Talisk; ethno funk pioneers Croft No. 5 and the Friel Sisters.
Many people will be listening out for the set from Siobhan Miller.
Regarded as one the finest singers to emerge from Scotland’s music scene over the last decade, she has the Scots Singer of the Year award twice at the Scots Trad Music Awards.
National Whisky Festival: drams and dancing
Above all, the event aims to be a joyful celebration of whisky. Something which often evades the whisky industry – despite their best efforts.
Colin Campbell, from the National Whisky Festival, said: ‘We want to celebrate whisky, we don’t just want to stand around chin-wagging, nodding, murmuring… It’s a beautiful drink – it’s many different drinks – so much can be done with it. We’re not part of the no ice brigade. We want our attendees to enjoy it in whatever fashion makes them happy.
‘Whisky is a firm part of Scottish culture: it inspires people to make all sorts of wonderful artwork, architecture, music, poetry… That’s why we bring these things to our show. At what other whisky festival can you take a break between drams to dance to the beat of world-renowned musicians?’
The National Whisky Festival is at SWG3 on Eastvale Place in Glasgow. There are two sessions on Saturday, 20th January.
The first runs noon-3.30pm. The second from 4.15-7.45pm. Tickets for each session are £40 + booking fee per person.