Fife Whisky Festival: 2023 event hailed a success as 700 attend events & tastings

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Fife Whisky Festival has been hailed a success after more than 700 attended the 2023 event.

Organisers have now confirmed it will return again next year.

The fifth annual event saw hundreds of whisky-lovers attend tasting sessions and special events including an exclusive tour of InchDairnie Distillery.

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There was also a whisky-themed dinner at Lindores Abbey Distillery in Newburgh with crime author Val McDermid this year’s guest of honour.

The festival was organised by Karen Somerville and Justine HazlehurstThe festival was organised by Karen Somerville and Justine Hazlehurst
The festival was organised by Karen Somerville and Justine Hazlehurst

She praised the festival’s success saying the dinner was “the best kind of night out - beautiful surroundings at Lindores Abbey, delicious food, lively conversation and the perfect choice of drams to accompany each course.”

The festival was organised by Karen Somerville and Justine Hazlehurst who have confirmed itl will return for a sixth outing in 2024.

Ms Hazlehurst said: “It was a successful weekend which went smoothly with lots of positive feedback. We had 90 people for the banquet dinner which is the largest number of attendees so far and Val was a great speaker.

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“She was very funny and spoke about her links to Fife, her love of whisky and how she was pleased to be involved with a festival which is, unusually, organised by two women.

Fife Whisky Festival 2023Fife Whisky Festival 2023
Fife Whisky Festival 2023

“This year, we were able to host 350 people at each Saturday session – our largest number since we started – and they enjoyed the very first taste of several new whiskies.”

“We’re now ready to start organising the 2024 event and look forward to returning to Fife next March.”

The festival featured tasting sessions at Cupar Corn Exchange where whisky connoisseurs enjoyed drams from more than 40 distilleries and independent bottlers including Annandale Distillery, GlenWyvis Distillery, Isle of Arran Distillers and James Eadie.

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They also had the chance to try brand-new whiskies including samples from InchDairnie Distillery of its soon-to-be-released RyeLaw whisky.

Glasgow Distillery Company poured its Glasgow 1770 Ruby Port and Red Wine Finish Single Malt Scotch Whisky - the first time it’s been tasted in the UK – and Kingsbarns Distillery brought its new flagship whisky ‘Doocot’ which only launched the day before the festival began.

There was an exclusive festival Bottling of a Staoisha eight-year-old - a peated single malt from Bunnahabhain Distillery bottled by Woodrow's of Edinburgh.

There was a tasting masterclass from Hannah Whisky Merchants hosted by brand ambassador, Paul McKendrick, at the Hillend Tavern in Dalgety Bay.

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Karen added: “We were pleased to offer two venues for the 2023 Sunday sessions - we like to do something special on the Sunday and are now looking at increasing to four Sunday events.

“We were also delighted to continue our annual fundraising efforts for Age Concern Cupar with around £1000 expected to be donated this year from our generous attendees and exhibitors.”

Fife Whisky Festival was launched in 2017 by Ms Hazlehurst, founder of Kask Whisky, and Mrs Somerville, of Angels’ Share Glass, with the first event held in March 2018.

They found that 100% of attendees questioned would be interested in returning to the Festival while 94% would strongly recommend the event to others.

Greg Klingaman, AnyRoad's VP, strategy and field operations EMEA, said: “The festival is a powerful vehicle for smaller and independent distilleries to engage directly with consumers.”