Inverness Whisky and Gin Festival

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Monday April 17 2017

From left: Lorien Cameron-Ross, Loch Ness Spirits, Chef John Lockhart from Fired Up, Festival Director Bruce MacGregor, and Jennifer Masson

Festival grows to five-day event with surge in interest in craft distilling runs from the 18th to the 22nd April.

A local festival has attracted visitors from around the world as it capitalises on the growing popularity of craft distilling in the Highlands and beyond.

The Inverness Whisky and Gin Festival runs for five days from 18th to 22nd April at various venues across Inverness, culminating with the “Big Day Out” at Bogbain Farm on Saturday 22nd April.

Sponsored by Tomatin Distillery, the Festival has attracted international attention, and masterclasses in whisky and gin tasting are nearly sold out.

Visitors from across Europe and the US are among those to have secured places on these unique sessions.

Festival organiser Bruce MacGregor hopes the festival will continue to be a magnet for international visitors.

“In a few short years, the festival has grown from a one-day event at Bogbain Farm, to a five-day festival across six venues,” noted MacGregor.

“It’s evidence of the tremendous – and growing – economic impact of craft distilling of both gin and whisky, and we are ideally located to capitalise on this trend.”

Bogbain Farm will remain the venue for the Festival’s “Big Day Out” Saturday 22nd April.

“Numerous craft gins and whiskies will be available at the tasting event, and visitors will be encouraged to make tasting notes, with experts on hand to help educate those new to the process.”

He added that some businesses are using it as a team-building event:

“What we are hearing from some local businesses is that our ‘Big Day Out’ is going to be their ‘staff day out’!”

The Chair of Westminster’s all-party parliamentary group on Scotch whisky, Brendan O’Hara MP, will attend, and a bespoke souvenir whisky, created to mark the Festival, will be available for purchase.

The Festival will feature what is believed to be the UK’s first whisky and cheese tasting to take place at a fitness club.

Bannatyne Health Club and Spa Inverness will host “Miss Malt” from the Rare Malt Whisky Company for a “Rare Malts and Fine Cheeses” tasting event on 20th April.

General manager Paul Burke explained:

“Whilst it may not seem the most obvious of venues for a whisky tasting, the whole point of this night is that it focuses on quality whisky, rare and exclusive.

“There’s nothing better than savouring one of Scotland’s finest.”  

Other highlights include a joint Glenmorangie-Loch Ness Gin dinner at Bogbain Farm.

The dinner will also feature the launch of the DVD of the recent BBC television series “Scotch – the making of whisky”.

Series host David Hayman will attend and have a light-hearted Q&A session with dinner guests after the screening.

The main attraction for “The Big Day Out” which is a tasting exhibition and to be held at Bogbain Farm on Saturday will be the masterclasses which are being led by some of the world’s leading distillers, including John Campbell, Distillery Manager at Laphroaig.

Mr Campbell explained:

“The theme is ‘Cask Strength Laphroaig’ and will feature two batches from the Laphroaig vaults, two single cask-bottlings and one never-tasted selection by me.”

For tickets or more information visit the Festival website at



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