Planet Whiskies :: Scottish Single Malt Whisky, Scotch, Distilleries, American Bourbon, Japanese, Irish

World-Wide Whisky News by Planet Whiskies | Buy your whisky online

To advertise on Planet Whiskies visit our contact us page

Spirit Of Speyside 2016 :: Meeting of two spirited souls :: Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival brings together giants of the whisky industry :: 25th April, 2016

Spirit Of Speyside 2016 :: Barrel of laughs: Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2016 aims to find a high roller on the streets of the world's malt whisky capital :: 17th March, 2016

What do you get when you take the master distiller behind the world’s best-selling single malt, one of the whisky industry’s most respected writers, a collection of drams drawn from casks laid down over 40 years ago, and a room full of people passionate about our national drink?

No one actually knows. But that’s the real beauty behind one of the most eagerly anticipated talk and taste events on the bill of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival later this month.

A meeting of two great whisky minds will take place when Alan Winchester, master distiller of The Glenlivet, and whisky expert Dave Broom team up to share their favourite drams from the iconic distillery.

Dave explains, “Every whisky has its own story and we’ve had great fun choosing the whisky that we will taste and share at this event. But in terms of planning, that’s as far as it goes.

“Anything could – and probably will – happen. You can do a tasting in a very formulised way, where you reach a conclusion in a slow and steady fashion, and that’s a very valid approach to some tastings.

“But for one such as this we didn’t want to over-prepare for fear that we might lose a degree of spontaneity.  We want there to be unpredictable elements, and for the whisky to dictate how we get from point A to point B.”

During the tasting on April 30, audience members will be able to sample drams from casks laid down as long ago as 1959: a time long before Alan – who has been in the industry for over 40 years – had started on his career. 

The sorcerer, who conjures up truly magical drams with the basic ingredients of barley, water and malt, was once an apprentice who started out at the age of 16 as a summer tour guide at Glenfarclas.

Within a just matter of weeks he knew whisky was the industry he wanted to work in. He was taken on as a distillery trainee at the end of his first season as a guide, and has worked with the amber nectar ever since.

Over the years he has been involved in every aspect of the trade mastering the complex skills needed to work as a mashman, brewer and stillman – and always bringing enthusiasm to every job he has tackled along the way.

Until his appointment as master distiller of The Glenlivet four years ago, Alan has worked at many distilleries during his long career, almost all on Speyside - an area recognised all over the world as a byword for the only the finest Scotch malt whisky.
He’s been a staunch supporter of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, right back to the early days in the 1990s when it was little more than an idea on paper. The Festival, which takes place from April 28 to May 2, is now in its 17th year and comprises almost 500 events.

“The Festival has really worked to raise the profile of Scotch whisky over the years. People can come to the area and see that whisky plays a very important role in communities – and to meet the folk who actually make it on their own doorstep is an added bonus,” says Alan.

“I’ve done a lot of different events with Dave over the years – on top of mountains and on the edge of lochs – so this will be something a bit more laid back than what we are used to and we’re looking forward to sharing the different cask styles.

“I really enjoy taking part in events like this because it means I get to meet with and talk to whisky drinkers – the people who go out and buy The Glenlivet.

“I’ll be sharing stories from my own career, but also about the history and heritage of distilling and how we have seen this fantastic evolution over the past 50 years that has led to an increased variety within each distillery’s range.

“We’re delighted to be able to share with the audience drams from every decade since the 1950s.”

Alan takes his role as master distiller seriously: he knows the buck stops with him and he is personally responsible for every single centilitre of product – potentially some 10.5m litres of alcohol a year - that runs through The Glenlivet’s stills.

And it’s quite a responsibility. The Glenlivet, founded in 1824 by George Smith, is regarded as the dram that started it all as the first legal distillery in the parish. Others soon followed suit, and now the industry is worth billions to the UK economy.

Guests at The Glenlivet Over the Decades will be able to learn why its drams are regarded as the best in the world, in addition to being the biggest selling with over one million cases enjoyed in 2015.

However, more than that, the relaxed chat and storytelling from two of the most charismatic figures in the whisky industry will be just as enjoyable as the drams.

Dave also has a long history in the whisky industry, spanning back to a time when, as a student, he worked on the Black & White bottling line. He’s worked behind bars, on the counter in spirit shops and even an Australian vineyard.

He’s written no less than 12 books on whisky, penned innumerable columns for a host of international publications and regularly hosts tasting events.

Dave is also the man behind scotchwhisky.com – a website launched last year that has quickly become a bible to the trade and a fantastic source of education and entertainment to whisky lovers around the globe.

“I never turn down an opportunity to do an event with Alan because the man knows a ridiculous amount of things about whisky. I’m there because I’m regarded as the expert, but the reality is that I will be learning just as much as everyone else in the room,” says Dave.

“Alan never ceases to amaze me with his stories, which are as enlightening as they are entertaining. I think events like this are proof, to me at least, that you can never actually stop learning when it comes to whisky.

“They are also what makes the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival so great. It is an amazing experience for visitors to meet people like Alan who are so passionate and proud of what they do – it’s literally an opportunity to learn from the master.

“Speyside is a large and diverse area and in the very early years of the Festival only a handful of distilleries were participating. Now the Festival is covering a much wider area and it’s heartening to see that it’s no longer just people going around a distillery and tasting whisky at the end of a tour.

“The Festival is now showing that Speyside is a living and working landscape and that the whisky is very much a part of people’s lives rather than just a product.”

As one of the world’s biggest festivals celebrating of Scotland’s national drink, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival features a packed programme of almost 500 events, with music, crafts, and food themes running alongside a wide range of distillery tours and tastings.

Tickets for all events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme, including The Glenlivet Over the Decades, are available to buy now at www.spiritofspeyside.com. The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and on Instagram.

Read more about The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2016

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2014

<< Back to all the latest whisky news brought to you by Planet Whiskies

Share Planet Whiskies on social media

Planet Whiskies on Twitter
Planet Whiskies on Facebook
Planet Whiskies on Google Plus
Planet Whiskies on Pinterest

Convalmore 32 Year Old 2017 Release Single Malt WhiskyConvalmore 32 Year Old 2017 Release Single Malt Whisky

Only 3972 individually numbered bottles available worldwide! You can place your order on Spirits by Post and deliveries will start at the end of September 2017. Clicks to read more

Convalmore 32 Year Old for only £ 1,180
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Hibiki 17 Year Old Single Malt Japanese WhiskyHibiki 17 Year Old Single Malt Japanese Whisky

Nose: Peach, Apricot, Melon, Rose, Lily and Lemon Leaf.
Palate: Toffee, Black Cherries, Vanilla and Mizunara (Japanese Oak)
Finish: Sweet, Fruity with Lychee Aftertaste.

Buy Hibiki 17 Year Old for £178.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Subscribe to Planet Whiskies newsletter

* indicates required

Buy from Spirits By Post:: Excellent whisky selection available to buy online today:: Click for more details

Latest Whisky News

See all whisky press releases for 2017

Ballantine's Invites The World To Open What's Never Been Opened Before With Its New Single Malt Series: 25th September, 2017

Glenfiddich launches new limited edition expression finished in ice wine - Winter Storm: 21st September, 2017

Thank you Scotland: Glenfiddich launches first ever festival for Scottish on-trade:15th September, 2017

Scotch Whisky tourism more popular than ever - distillery visits and spend increasing: 9th September, 2017

New Speyside Distillery: Cabrach will celebrate Scotland’s illicit whisky history: 7th September, 2017

Latest Gin News

Ian Macleod Distillers Acquires Edinburgh Gin :: 13th September, 2016

Crafted Upon Four Pillars :: The definitive Modern Australian Gin Debuts in the U.S :: 13th July, 2016

VisitScotland Interactive Whisky Guide

Visit Scotland Interactive Whisky Map

Found out about 105 whisky distilleries in Scotland's five whisky regions in this very exciting interactive whisky guide :: More information

Selection of Scottish Malts Whisky available from Spirits By Post

Hibiki 17 Year Old Single Malt Japanese WhiskyHibiki 17 Year Old Single Malt Japanese Whisky

Distillery:  Japanese

Nose: Peach, Apricot, Melon, Rose, Lily and Lemon Leaf.
Palate: Toffee, Black Cherries, Vanilla and Mizunara (Japanese Oak)
Finish: Sweet, Fruity with Lychee Aftertaste.

Buy Now for £178.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Highland Park Freya - The Valhalla Collection 16 Year Old Single Malt WhiskyHighland Park Freya - The Valhalla Collection 16 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Distillery:  Highland Park

Colour/Appearance: Fair gold.
Nose: Mild sweet smoke, green apple, sweet butter icing, coconut and cream, lemon peal. Palate: Vanilla cream, spiciness, marmalade, cinnamon spice, oaky spice, leafy green notes, bark and damp twigs. Finish: Gentle spice, warming.

Buy Now for £499.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Brora 34 Year Old 2017 Release Single Malt WhiskyBrora 34 Year Old 2017 Release Single Malt Whisky

Distillery:  Brora

Only 3,000 individually numbered bottles available worldwide! You can place your order on Spirits by Post and deliveries will start at the end of September 2017. Clicks to read more

Buy Now for £1,425
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Port Dundas 52 Year Old 2017 Release Single Grain WhiskyPort Dundas 52 Year Old 2017 Release Single Grain Whisky

Distillery:  Port Dundas

Only 752 individually numberedbottles available worldwide! Order now for delivery last week of September, 2017
Clicks to read more

Buy Now for £770.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Ailsa Bay Single Malt Scotch WhiskyAilsa Bay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Ailsa Bay

Nose: Strong notes of smoke balanced with a creamy sweetness and notes of smoky bacon.
Palate: A kick of peat followed by sweetness. Notes of crispy bacon continue with hints of maple syrup.
Clicks to read more

Buy Now for £54.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

More details about Spirits By Post can be found on their website at www.spiritsbypost.com

Planet Whiskies on Pinterest

Planet Whiskies on Twitter

Support us Google Plus