“Show me the way to the next whiskey [Festival]. Oh, don’t ask why, oh, don’t ask why. For if we don’t find the next whiskey [Festival], I tell you we must die, I tell you we must die…”
So without further adieu, here are the BarWhiz Blog Picks for the World’s Top Whiskey Festivals:
***Please note: Due to the overwhelming amount of amazing whiskey festivals out there we’ve decided to limit our selection to just a few of those on the list that will be happening this calendar year.***
Jura Distillery Whiskey Festival – Jura, Scotland (May 29th – 30th, 2013)
It’s not too late to join the Jura Distillery to celebrate their 50th year anniversary with, what some are saying, will be the greatest whisky festival ever! They will have four new bottlings to try, including a pre-release of their 40-year-old whisky. Not to mention interactive sessions held by some of the best whisky experts around. There will also be local food, music and distillery tours available. So what are you waiting for? Book your flight to Scotland today and experience this once in a lifetime whisky festival.
Bushmills Live – Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland (June 19th – 20th, 2013)
Okay, so this is not so much a whisky festival as it is a music festival, and even though whisky didn’t make our Most Popular Drinks At A Music Festival list, knowing that this festival is put on by Bushmills, there is certainly to be a lot of whisky flowing. This festival will provide 500 lucky whisky fans the chance to sip some handcrafted whisky while listening to some amazing musicians, all the while taking in the Old Bushmills Distillery. Sounds like a pretty amazing whisky festival to me!
Whiskey Rebellion Festival – Washington, PA (July 11th – 13th, 2013)
Back in the good ole days of America’s beginnings, when George Washington was commander and chief, a new tax was being placed on farmers who sold their grain in the form of whisky. Something they strongly resented. So much so that protesters violently opposed the new tax, going as so far as tarring and feathering tax collectors. Today things are much more peaceful, but for three days each year in Washington, PA the Rebellion holds true. The Whisky Rebellion Festival celebrates the historical significance of the protest, with re-enactments of the tarring and feathering of tax collectors, parades, live music, food, and of course good ole fashioned whiskey drinking. This is definitely not your whisky connoisseurs festival.
Little Woody Barrel Aged Brew and Whiskey Fest – Bend, OR (August 30th – 31st, 2013)
Originally starting out as a beer festival for craft brewers who understood the importance of aging their brews in oaken casks, this festival has recently open its palate to include those for the taste of a fine whiskey. Taking place next to the Des Chutes Historical Museum, Bend, OR will be transformed into a whiskey tasting paradise, and will include a wide selection of some of the finest small batch American bourbons and ryes.
Speyside Whisky Festival – Dufftown, Scotland (September 26th – 30th, 2013)
The Speyside Whisky Festival is unique in that the tastings are not centrally located. During this festival several distilleries, many who are not open to the public, throw open their doors and invite whisky connoisseurs of all walks of life to sample a wide selection of fine malts. Through the festival mini-bus trips are planned to allow festivalgoers the chance to experience what each distillery has to offer. The most notable tour is the Seven Stills Tour, which includes all of Dufftown’s distilleries on a single trip.
Whisky Live Festival – TBD, South Africa (October 2013)
As of the date of publication for this post the Whisky Live Festival had yet to release any details of the 11th annual festival, but if it is anything like 2012 you are sure to be in for the time of your life. Billed as the “the benchmark for spirit shows globally” by award-winning whisky writer Dave Broom, the Whisky Live Festival has built itself a reputation as being the largest, liveliest and most entertaining whisky festival, not only in South Africa, but also the world. This is definitely the must attend event of the year.
International Whisky Festival – The Hague, Netherlands (November 15th – 17th, 2013)
The Grote Kerk in The Hague, Netherlands hosts the International Whisky Festival each year, and with over a hundred brands of whiskies available for tasting, this makes for one of the most spectacular festivals of its kind. The festival also offers the opportunity to learn more about whisky with their selection of Master classes, hosted by both Dutch and English speaking whisky experts. If you don’t want to spend the entire festival in a dusty old church you can always hop aboard the Whisky Tram and see the sites of The Hague while enjoying some single Scottish malts.
About the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.