Distilled set to launch array of new innovations at mini-festival

THE DAYS ARE counting down to the second Spirit of Speyside: Distilled event which is taking place this weekend at the Elgin Town Hall.

The mini-festival celebrating Speyside’s food and drink will play host to a hat-trick of new product launches, underlining the innovation and ingenuity of the region’s producers.

Visitors on Friday and Saturday will be among the first to sample two new gins as well as a collaboration between a small craft brewery and one of the world’s best-selling single malts. The event is hosting over 30 exhibitors showcasing spirits, beer and food – along with food and drink venues serving their own special cocktails and Speyside snacks.

Avva Scottish Gin will be taking the wraps off its new limited-edition ‘expression’, which has been created to celebrate the mini-festival. The locally produced gin, which is also bottled in Elgin, will be available to buy in very small quantities.

Distiller Jill Brown, who launched the Avva brand last year, will also be telling the story of her products at one of the festival masterclasses.

Husband and wife team Bob and Silvi Duncan have chosen the event to launch a new brand of fine artisan spirits. The couple behind Duncan’s Spirits will be giving gin-lovers a chance to taste their first batch – Duncan’s Gin, a product so new only a very small number of people have tried it.

The Duncans have put the Speyside region at the very heart of their new product, which contains the freshest Highland juniper with five other foraged and handpicked local Scottish botanicals.

The result is a gin which they feel reflects the very essence and flavours of the Speyside landscape through its freshness and simplicity.

Spirit of Speyside: Distilled is a sister event of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which has been running for almost 20 years. Organisers see it as an opportunity to highlight the region’s world-class food and drink producers, in addition to whisky distillers.

Event chairman James Campbell said “We are honoured that we will have three different product launches taking place over the two days. I think this underlines that the producers already see this event as a very important one in terms of the profile it brings, which is very encouraging given that this is only its second year.

“The producers are genuinely interested to learn what visitors have to say about their products. Many of them are very passionate and knowledgeable about food and drink, while others simply enjoy it for what it is – either way they are the people who go out and buy these products so it’s important to get feedback from them.

“Tickets have been selling online very quickly in these last few days leading up to the event, but we will be holding some tickets back to sell on the door. We don’t want anyone to miss out on this fantastic opportunity to sample Speyside’s food and drink and to meet the people at the very heart of the industry.”

Distilled is sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers and will run for four different sessions, one from 1-5pm and one from 6-10pm on Friday and Saturday.

Tickets are priced at £20 which includes entry, six vouchers for tasting samples of gin, whisky or beer, a lanyard and a Glencairn crystal nosing and tasting glass.

For more information and to book tickets in advance, visit www.distilled.scot Distilled is active on social media at www.facebook.com/distilledscot.