Best New Event 2015!
Another Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival down and another year until the next. And what a fantastic one it was, showcasing some of the best that Speyside has to offer to those that love whisky, to those that are learning to love it and for those who came up to the area hoping to find something new to add to their calendar: there was definitely enough on offer for all with one of the largest offerings of events that the festival has seen. In recognition of this, a new award was created to determine which of the wide range on offer could be pointed to as ‘different’ and ‘fresh’. Judged by the International Festival Ambassadors, Jacqui and Frank Scott, five were put onto a shortlist for the nomination. We were very happy to find ourselves on that list for our Whisky Cocktail Masterclass: an event that we had been trying out on willing (!) guinea pigs for a couple of months prior and, although perhaps sacrilegious to some who declare themselves as purists, we knew that the concept of the whisky cocktail has been growing in popularity not only in the wider industry but also in our small part of the world! Quietly confident, we knew that regardless of a win, we really just wanted to make sure that the group who came to join us on the afternoon of the 1st of May would enjoy what we had to offer: a little bit of knowledge, tasting of four cocktails which we currently run on our own list, access to the bar in order to make them and free reign in order to create their own with the hopes of winning a coveted prize from Benromach Distillery, courtesy of Gordon & MacPhail.
With lots of laughs, quite a lot of spillage, some brilliant attempts at new cocktails from the individual teams, friendly banter and some ‘wild and exuberant’ photo taking sessions, Lauren and Steph certainly enjoyed themselves and with the declarations of ‘see you next year’ as our participants left, we definitely knew that regardless of anything else, we had provided an event that was different enough to get some attention but also enjoyable enough that those who were there were already signing their names up to the next session! So in the middle of the busy Sunday the 3rd of May service, it was with great surprise that we were told, via Twitter (the brilliance of technology!), that we had won the ‘Best New Event 2015’. I would like to say that the news was received with quiet acceptance but, as our guests who were with us on that evening will attest, Lauren was less than quiet in her declarations of ‘I won, I won’. We are still trying to deflate the ego!
Joking aside, we were amongst a group of events that were innovative, fresh and, if we hadn’t been working, would have been the ones that we would have chosen to attend. We feel very fortunate that out of these events, our attempt was recognised and for that, we thank Frank and Jacqui for joining us and the festival for creating an award that pushed all in the area to make this festival the best yet! We for one are already looking forward to next May but in the meantime, watch this space for information on September’s festival when we will be joining Mike and his team at the WhiskyShop in Dufftown for some brilliant events!