There are few things better in the world than a great festival. Especially one that centers around something you love. For Tyler and I, that festival happens to be the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which we did not happen to know was occuring until about 2 weeks before it did. It also happened to occur in the little village just 3 miles from where we were staying. We had been staying with a family in the Speyside region of the Scottish Highlands, right outside Dufftown, though the nearest post office is in Elgin, 30 miles away.
There may not be a post office within 30 miles, but there is a LOT of whisky. 17 currently active distilleries to be exact, and prominent among them are such names as Macallan, Glenmorangie, The Glenlivet, and Glenfiddich. This festival attracts people from all over the globe, all with a shared love of whisky; and we got to join them!
Friday the 29th of April was Tyler’s birthday, and we fully celebrated this year! I didnt want to get him just another thing to carry around, so this year, I asked a few of his friends and family to send me videos of themselves wishing him a happy birthday, and here is the result for you to see! Just know that this collection of videos is what happens when you ask a bunch of people to send their love, and it absolutely blew us both away. Here it is for you to see!
So back to the festival. We walked into town on friday for the Speyside 2016 championship whisky judging, where we got to taste the top 6 whiskys from Speyside for the year, the only competition where the winner was chosen by the drinkers, not the makers. It was a great night, we sat at a table with three experts, and enjoyed every minute.
On Saturday, we walked back into town and took a wood working class with a professional craftsman. The whole workshop was green, meaning it had no cords, and no powertools. We spun the wood on a pedal powered lathe, and burned marks on them using scraps of wood.
That night we went to a Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee), where we got to learn some wonderful country dances, and listened to some beautiful traditional music by a great band called, Im not kidding, Footerin’ Aboot.
On Sunday, Tyler entered into a barrel racing competition, which is not the same as it is in Montana. This was literally rolling a whisky barrel down a street and back up it again for time. He did terribly, but it was very fun!
Later, we went to a whisky fair, where we got to taste some of the oldest and most expensive whisky in the world, and have some really wonderful conversations with not only the other whisky lovers, but with the actually distillers. It was a complete honor to be a part of this festival, and I can’t believe how lucky we are.