Ah, festival season! The most exciting month for Scotch whisky lovers around the world. Each May, thousands of malt maniacs from all corners of the globe make the pilgrimage to Scotland to enjoy the magic of each region through a variety of whisky festivals. There are bountiful options from The Spirit of Speyside to Fèis Ìle, to the Campbeltown Malts Festival and many more. While many moments make these celebrations unique like special distillery releases and local entertainment and fare, it truly is the people you meet over a dram (or few!) that make festival season so memorable!
This year, much like the last, we must celebrate at home. I miss planting my feet on Scottish soil, trekking through the regions, meeting new people, enjoying the hearty meals, and delicious whisky, just like you. Since we won’t be able to get there this year, I have decided to bring the experience home. To quinch my thirst for fine Scottish fare (and whisky!), I have matched up some fantastic Scottish recipes you can make at home with the perfect Society dram! And what about entertainment? Well, I too have matched each pairing with a fun activity to keep the spirit alive!
I hope these pairings offer you a slice of joy, a moment to reflect on the festivals you have attended in the past, or get you even more excited about the ones you will attend in the future. If you do recreate these at home, please share them with us on social media @smwsamerica or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org ! Wishing you a very fun festival month, and be sure to watch your inboxes for some amazing Society releases to celebrate these festivals!
With over 51 working distilleries in Speyside, this region is worthy of a grand celebration! Speyside has welcomed people from around the world to bask in its splendor, walk along its Speyside Way and enjoy the local fare! To bring this celebration home, I’d recommend scheduling a local hike or walk in your own town, enjoying the great outdoors, taking in the local scenery (you can pretend your local stream is the River Spey!). After a day on the trails, refuel and whip up a delicious pot of Cullen Skink! This delicious smoked haddock chowder will bring back all the feels of enjoying a bowl in Speyside after a long day of distillery visits. Top the day off with a glass of Cask No. 35.272 The Dark Lure and sit back and relax while watching a few episodes of Scotch: The Story of Whisky!
The glorious Highlands! Those picturesque rolling green hills are home to some of the most diverse distilleries in Scotch whisky! While a tear comes to my eye thinking about romping through the green grass while enjoying a few drams, celebrating at home will be a fun of its own! Pour a glass of Cask No. 66.186 Bivouac Breakfast and instantly be transported to a secluded forest where you can enjoy a robust meal of Scottish Grouse! Wrap this paring up with the perfect playlist and be transported right to the heart of The Highlands!
Once known the whisky capital of Scotland, Campbeltown has a rich history in the world of Scotch whisky. The Campbeltown Malts Festival is a three-day celebration, full of incredible drams and fun. After a day at the distilleries, I would image myself sitting by the coast, eating a massive plate of Haddock Fish and Chips while sipping a luxurious glass of Cask No. 27.113 A song and dance. The salty maritime notes of the haddock would fill my belly, while the soft floral notes of rose and jasmine would soothe the soul, reminding me of the true magic of Campbeltown. I’d top the night off with a cozy spot, another dram of this divine Society cask, and cozy up with the book Campbeltown Whisky: An Encyclopedia.
Our beloved Islay! For many Scotch whisky lovers, visiting Islay for its yearly festival is the ultimate trip! The music, the whisky, the people, the incredible scenery, it’s all a dream for us peat loving maniacs! For me, I personally love my peated malts with a little something sweet, often adding in a splash of whisky to my dessert recipes. Scottish tablet is one of my favourite sweet treats, and it’s quite easy to make! Toss in a little splash of your favourite Islay Society dram to spice it up! Missing Islay and the wonderful whisky making people there? Visit our YouTube Channel to watch my interviews with Adam Hannett and John Campbell! And for the perfect Society dram? Well, a very special surprise is coming very soon in celebration of this amazing place and we can’t wait to share it with you! Keep an eye on your inbox!