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English whisky has never been more in-demand. From the exciting releases in The Cotswolds Distillery, to the innovative work Dhavall Gandhi and team are creating at The Lakes Distillery, to the blink and you’ll miss them releases at Bimber, English whisky is emerging from the shadow of its northern neighbours to produce some excellent whisky. So what better way to celebrate than a festival shining a light on English Whisky?

The English Whisky Festival, hosted by the English Whisky Society, takes place online over the weekend of October 16th and 17th. There are thirteen distilleries participating from all corners of England. The tasting sets will include new releases and festival exclusives, and further tasting sets will be available for each event. Some highlights are:

o Cask Influence featuring The Lakes, Cotswolds, The English Whisky Co, The Oxford Artisan Distillery and White Peak.

o Field To Feints featuring Bimber, Cooper King, Cotswolds, Dartmoor and Hentsone

o Quiz featuring Boutique-y Dave and Andy from Malt Box.

Purchasing any ticket will provide access to the entire festival programme and 5 x 2.5cl samples, and each panel has a corresponding tasting pack, starting at £32.50. Tickets are limited so make sure you secure your place early!

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Updated: Sep 11, 2020

With the unfortunate news that The Whisky Show would be cancelled, whisky aficionados had no cause for despair. Its replacement, from 2nd October to 9th October, is The Whiskey Exchange’s Virtual Whisky Show, which looks set to take the online whisky tasting world by storm. Far greater in size, ambition and quality than every online tasting that has preceded it, no expenses have been spared to host this tasting behemoth.

There are over 70 tasting packs available, all accompanied by virtual shows hosted by some whisky heavyweights, such as Dave Broom, Ichiro Akuto, Richard Paterson and Mark Gillespie. No stone is left unturned, with tastings from all over the whisky world. Some highlights include:

o Debunking Regionality with Dave Broom

o America with Mark Gillespie

o For the Love of Islay with Sukhinder Singh

o Sukhinder’s Whisky Show Pack with Sukhinder Singh and Billy Abbott

o Food Pairing with Arran with Mariella Romano

There will also be a special blending masterclass with the team behind Johnnie Walker. Following a discussion on the blending process and the sourcing from all corners of Scotland, Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky ambassador Alistair Reynolds will lead a tutored blending session to allow participants to discover the joys of blending.

If this wasn’t enough, there are numerous talks designed for us whisky geeks. Highlights include:

o Whisky Terroir – A Con?

o One of The Greatest Whisky Collections In The World

o Ireland – The Land of Innovation

o Good Sulphur V Bad Sulphur

Tickets for the show are £20, which provides entrance to the virtual show, access to the exhibitor stands, access to demos and masterclasses and an online show guide and magazine. Each individual tasting must be purchased separately. This is not to be missed.

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Image by Daniel Norris

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