May is Scotland’s Whisky Month
As part of the big Scottish Homecoming initiative, this Friday, May 1st, sees the start of Whisky Month. There are 30 events during may scattered right throughout Scotland kicking off on May 1st with the 10 day Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. This year, the Speyside is celebrating it’s 10th birthday so they have pushed the boat out over the event ending with Capercaille and firework display at Abelour on the 9th to complete the festival.
The month ends with the Islay Malt and Music Festival with events across the Islay distilleries.
So why so much emphasis on attracting you and I to go to all these distilleries. We know the contribution that whisky as a drink makes to the Scottish economy both in jobs and income. But it also a significant boost to tourism. It is reckoned that £20 million was spent at whisky visitor attractions and Scots tourism officers hope that this whisky event will add another 30,000 visitors to the already considerable numbers who go there.
Most distilleries now have visitor centres so they can cater to all the family whilst the adults sample the wares. But since some of the distilleries are not the easiest to get to you have to travel through some of the most beautiful parts to get to them. That might encourage you to return to explore the area knowing that there will be a distillery at the end of a day.
For non whisky drinkers like me it has little appeal. How whisky is made is of some interest but at the risk of being shot down I would imagine that having seen one distillery process, the others are broadly similar. But some of the remote parts of the Scottish countryside are the attraction. And if I drop a couple of people off at a distillery and pick them up later that’s fine with me.
For more see www.homecomingscotland2009.com/whiskymonth