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March 5, 2018

Spirit of Speyside Tastings, tours and ceilidhs are all part of the Spirit of Speyside Festival. Pic: Facebook.

The nineteenth Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival runs from the 3rd to the 7th of May this year.

We realise that early March may seem a little early to be bringing it to your attention but tickets are selling fast.

Apparently, some 5,000 tickets were sold within 24 hours of going on sale. More than a hundred events sold out within a day of the festival launch.

Happily, that still leaves some 400 events over the course of the five day festival.

The organisers have put together a great line-up of  tastings, tours, dinners and dances across Speyside.

Some of the hottest Spirit of Speyside tickets are for behind-the-scenes tours at internationally renowned distilleries not usually open to the public. Tamdhu, Braeval and Dalmunach all fall under this category.

You can browse all the events here.

Spirit of Speyside: more than 500 events

Sure to be popular is the Battle of the Villages. This year, Dufftown will be taking on Aberlour. Rather than a pitched fight to the death, this is a comparative tasting with whisky from each village going toe to toe with its counterpart.

Whisky writer Dave Broom and Lyndsey Gray, manager of the Quaich bar at The Craigellachie Hotel will referee.

While drinking whisky is at the very enjoyable heart of the Spirit of Speyside, there are plenty of other activities.

There are tours of the cooperages which make the all important whisky barrels, lots of guided walks and even a canoe tour.

You could also sweat out some of the whisky with a ceilidh or catch the Skerryvore gig at the Glenlivet Distillery.

If you are feeling very active, you could take part in one of the Angel's Nectar geo-caching events.

We like the sound of the Whisky Smugglers and the Forbidden College tour.

Run by Glenlivet Wildlife, this tour explores the Braes of Glenlivet.

This remote glen was reputed to have over two hundred illegal stills during the height of the whisky smuggling era.