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Spirit of Speyside launches new event

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has announced the launch of a new two-day event that will showcase the region’s best whisky, craft spirits, beer and food producers.

Set to take place in Elgin on the weekend of 9 to 11 September 2016, the new event will complement the already well-established Spirit of Speyside Festival, held in May.

Plans for the two-day event were announced at the Spirit of Speyside AGM on Tuesday, offering an alternative weekend devoted to Speyside whisky, as well as local gin and craft beer and local produce from across the region. The event will also include tastings, cocktail making and a food court, as well as a series of masterclasses.

James Campbell, the festival’s chairman, said: “Our annual whisky festival has grown in size and stature to become one of the leading events of its kind in the world. We are now creating a brand new weekend event with the big difference that the distilleries will be together, under one roof, and that’s something that doesn’t normally happen on their home territory.”

This year’s Spirit of Speyside event in May attracted 26,389 visitors from a record 34 countries. For the first time in its 17-year history, the number of Americans visiting the festival surpassed other international visitors. However this new event is likely to target a different market.

Campbell added: “While the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has an international audience, and overseas visitors may be among the contingent, we expect our September event to have a particular appeal to the home market, including people from the local area.

“We look forward to developing our plans and helping keep one of Scotland’s most famous whisky producing regions well and truly on the map, inspiring more visitors to develop their interest and knowledge of our national tipple.”

The Spirit of Speyside Festival will be encouraging business to take part in the showcase, with further announcements on what people can expect from the event, including its official title, due to be made in the coming weeks.

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