On first hearing there is a World Whisky Day you may be tempted to emit a long, weary sigh and we’d have a certain amount of sympathy for such reaction. The day previously known as the 18th of May has been hijacked by desperate marketing types. But that’s not quite how it happened.
Apparently, World Whisky Day is the brainchild of Aberdeen University student, Blair Bowman, genuine whisky enthusiast and not an industry employee – for the time being anyway.
Yes, it’s a £5bn a year industry. Yes, there are always un-ending arguments about tax and big corporations like Diageo taking profit overseas. Back in February the BBC screened a documentary called Scotched Earth; asking ‘whether Scotland is getting enough back from whisky, and hear(ing) how we could cash in more on this amazing business success.’ But forget all that.
Why not celebrate whisky? It’s lovely. Salty. Peaty. Sherry. Honey. Vanilla. Iodine. What other drink can make you feel like you’ve been plunged beneath the waves off a Hebridean Island, or bitten deep into a great big, treacly Christmas pudding? Not to mention the medicine cabinet, or the school nurse.
Uisge beatha is a marvelous drink and it’s a shame there’s just the one day set aside for it’s enjoyment.
There are loads of events all over the UK and beyond so if you’re in a stepping out frame of mind here’s where we reckon you should be knocking ‘em back on World Whisky Day:
Scotch Malt Whisky Society Members Room, London and Edinburgh
SMWS are hosting special WWD events in all venues. The Vaults, in Leith; Queen Street, Edinburgh; and Greville Street, London, are all opening their doors and bottles to anyone (non-members included) who wants to celebrate the greatest of spirits. A very generous malt of the moment will be available and the classic film Whisky Galore will screen all day in the Whisky Room. Society Ambassadors will be on hand to provide walking mini tastings. Expertly matched whisky and food platters will be served in the bar. Full details on the events page here.
Whisky Mavericks, World Whisky Day Tasting
Events in nine cities the length and breadth of the UK. Experts will guide drinkers through 6 malts and introduce them to some unusual drams that may just give your classic Scotches a real run for their money. So not just the classic Scottish Malts then. Full details on and booking on Whisky Mavericks.
For further details of events in your area see the World Whisky Day website.
Or, if you’re staying home but would like to raise a celebratory glass here’s our top five malts to enjoy on 18th May – the taste of each malt will alter depending which bottle you’re tippling from but generally speaking…
Perfect as an aperitif to awaken the palate. Big swill of salted caramel and seaweed. Hails from Islay.
Smokey, honeyed and friendly. A restful dram. Orkney’s only malt.
From Scotland’s smallest distillery; sweet, creamy and light. Quaffable in summer sun should we be so lucky.
A great big medicinal slap in the chops. Salty. Oily. This Islay malt is the marmite of whiskies – you either love it, or hate.
Glory of Speyside malts; sweet heather-honey and often orangey notes. Rich and luxurious after dinner.