The past week has been all about the Virtual Fèis Ìle, the Islay Festival of Malt and Music. The initial event on Friday 22/05 was started by the SMWS Islay Festival virtual pub night, including amongst other guests Rachel MacNeill from the Islay Whisky Academy and the legendary whisky distiller Jim McEwan.

Music was provided by Felipe and Paul of The Rhythm & Booze Project, who also played on Saturday during their Whisky Lockdown Hoedown set.

Saturday also had events from Lagavulin and Port Ellen (below).

Sunday was Bruichladdich’s turn through an amazing initiative, the Laddie Lock-In. You can even now find the distillery virtually through Minecraft!

The next few days were followed with more brand events from Islay – see list by clicking here – and I took the opportunity to watch John Campbell at Laphroaig Distillery for their event, with a dram or two.

There is so much content available online during quarantine, that I am only now catching up on some of the activities I missed ‘live’, such as the excellent initiative by Tomatin Highland Single Malt and hosted by Roy Duff from Aqvavitae, the 1st Lockdown Whisky Festival took place in April and the 2nd one in May 2020.

“It’s exciting to be the first distillery to host a virtual whisky festival and we’re thankful for the other distilleries who have chosen to get involved and support it. We will be encouraging viewers to use #LockdownWhiskyFestival on social when they raise a dram with us.” Scott Adamson, Global Brands Ambassador, Tomatin Distillery

There was a vast array of whisky brands appearing on the livestream including Adelphi, Arran, BenRiach, Cù Bòcan, GlenAllachie, Glencadam, Glen Moray, Kilkerran, Kilchoman, Paul John, Tomintoul on the first festival. On the second festival, more whisky brands such as Glengoyne, Old Pulteney, Tamdhu and others were involved with a view to bringing enjoyment to the general public and the whisky industry whilst also raising funds to support Maggie’s Highlands Centres – you can still contribute by clicking on this link.

I have also come across the very relaxing nature sounds from Old Pulteney – for anyone wanting a relief from being stuck at home!

As always, I have continued to watch the following live streams:

Plus I have continued to catch up when possible with Live streams, such as the one below with Master Blender Sandy Hyslop.

As well as plenty of content coming out of my home country Brazil…these are just a couple of the examples below.

A particular highlight was the Live session by Trev from @committed2makers and Claire Tesh and her Pina Colada singing rendition!

Next event coming up is the Summerton Virtual Whisky Festival Saturday 30th May (12:30-22:00) – samples already arrived for the event…

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

For Reference from Inside the Cask:

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