The Programme

The Dornoch Whisky Festival 2019 programme is here!

This year we celebrate 5 years and we have a wonderful (if we do say so ourselves!) line up of events below! You can download a PDF copy by clicking the button too.

Follow the links to buy tickets & for news about exhibitors of the Dornoch Whisky Festival Grand Tasting, follow the button below.

Port Askaig Masterclass

25/10/2019

The Carnegie Whisky Cellars

Julie Hamilton, Brand Ambassador for independent bottler Elixir Distillers will be showcasing a masterclass featuring their range from Port Askaig.
Port Askaig is a range of Islay single malt whiskies that embodies the unique spirit of Islay and its people.
Nestled into the north coast of the island, Port Askaig has been the gateway to Islay for hundreds of years.
While there is no distillery at Port Askaig, Elixir Distillers have taken the opportunity to specially select casks from the distilleries around Islay and create a variety of expressions.

13:00:00

Ticket Price:

£50

Morrison & Mackay Cheese & Whisky Tasting

25/10/2019

The Carnegie Whisky Cellars

New for 2019, we're giving you the chance to join the experts from Morrison & Mackay for this delightful tasting that involves single cask drams which have been expertly matched with the perfect fine cheeses.

17:00:00

Ticket Price:

£60

Blind Whisky & Gin Tasting for Beginners & Enthusiasts

25/10/2019

Royal Dornoch Golf Club

Back again by popular demand, how about you try your hand at sampling 3 gins and 3 whiskies and try and identify which ones they are. We will give you a helping hand with a tasting sheet and all you have to do is pick the one you think matches. There will also be a selection of light nibbles and canapes to accompany the tasting.

17:30:00

Ticket Price:

£25

Japanese Vs Irish Tasting

25/10/2019

The Vault @ The Castle

Held in The Vault @ Dornoch Castle - a new intimate whisky tasting & private dining room - the Thompson Brothers will take you on an exploration of both Irish and Japanese whiskies, including 7 bottles with rare single casks!

18:00:00

Ticket Price:

£65

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Paired Dinner

25/10/2019

The Dornoch Castle Hotel

Once again we are offering you the chance to enjoy a 4-course whisky inspired menu paired with SMWS (Scotch Malt Whisky Society) whiskies at the Dornoch Castle Hotel.

19:30:00

Ticket Price:

£60

VIP Dinner with The Macallan

25/10/2019

Links House at Royal Dornoch

Links House at Royal Dornoch will be once again hosting the Dornoch Whisky Festival VIP Dinner! This year, the Dornoch Whisky Festival are delighted to be joined by the Whisky Makers from The Macallan distillery. The event will be one to remember as we join the Whisky Makers with their glittering whisky knowledge and tutorage which will be accompanied by a whisky paired 8 Course Tasting Menu from award winning Chef Javi. All held in the gorgeous Links House at Royal Dornoch.

19:30:00

Ticket Price:

£120

Gin Tasting

25/10/2019

The Eagle Hotel

The Eagle Hotel has many, many gins, so this is a must for the gin lovers. With a huge selection and great atmosphere, you'll be in a gin paradise with the chance to try four separate gins and mixers of your choice.

20:00:00

Ticket Price:

£15

Live Music at the Eagle

25/10/2019

The Eagle Hotel

Once again we invite you to join us all for a night of live music at the Eagle! With a great atmosphere and a chance to get to know the locals and visitors alike, this is a brilliant night to just enjoy yourself.

21:30:00

Ticket Price:

Free

Historylinks Tour of Dornoch

26/10/2019

Dornoch Square

Fancy a stroll around 4000 years' worth of heritage and history? A lot of it quite turbulent (to say the least)? If so, then join us for a guided walking tour where with the fantastic Historylinks Museum curator. This tour will give you a fascinating insight into the history of Dornoch from some nasty fires, the burning of witches, our pre-historic Dornoch and Norse invaders, with much more and you can start to piece together how and why Dornoch became what it is.

This is a great tour to really get you acquainted with the town as this community is firmly rooted in our history.

10:30:00

Ticket Price:

£5

Whisky Makers VIP Masterclass - 12pm

26/10/2019

The Carnegie Whisky Cellars

Join Polly, Russell and Steven - a trio of The Macallan Whisky Makers - as they put on not one, but two amazing VIP tasting for this years Dornoch Whisky Festival!

We are so delighted to be able to offer you the chance to turn into blenders, even if only for a little while. At this masterclass you will enjoy an immersive and innovative tasting whereby you will learn all about what goes into their day to day job, all about The Macallan and how they select the whisky that you know and love!

You will then get the chance to use that knowledge to put together a 100ml dram of your own miniature of the Macallan to take away with you, based on your own personal preferences!

If you're a fan of The Macallan, or just a fan of whisky and how it's chosen, this event is for you. This trio really loves what they do and bring so much energy and passion to their tastings that this one will be really fun!

12:00:00

Ticket Price:

£100

Thompson Bros: Old & Rare Tasting

26/10/2019

The Vault @ The Castle

A Dornoch Whisky Festival staple! Join the Thompson Bros, Phil & Simon Thompson, whilst they guide you in a tasting of old, rare and vintage whiskies held in The Vault @ Dornoch Castle - a new intimate whisky tasting & private dining room.

12:00:00

Ticket Price:

£70

Dornoch Whisky Festival: Grand Tasting

26/10/2019

The Dornoch Castle Hotel

The Dornoch Whisky Festival Grand Tasting is back for it's 5th year! Five years! All thanks to you!

This year we're adding even more exhibitors to fill our marquee with some of our returning favourites and a few new faces with a range of distilleries, independent bottlers and gins with a couple of special extras thrown in too that we can't wait to share more details about as soon as we can.

The Grand Tasting ticket is not a free pour event and we take responsible drinking very serious, so it works on a voucher system whereby you purchase a ticket for £25 and receive a voucher card of 20 vouchers on the door. These vouchers are then exchanged for 10 ml pours of your choice on the day.

The exhibitors then choose their own voucher worth per dram, for example at the 2017 Dornoch Whisky Festival Grand Tasting, Benromach had their 10yo at one voucher per dram and their 35yo at 5 vouchers. You can buy more vouchers on the day but at the discretion of the bar staff and of course, you will be able to purchase products on the day through the Carnegie Whisky Cellars.

On top of this, you will get a Dornoch Whisky Festival goody bag which will include your own tasting glass and a few other goodies that will come in handy whilst at the festival!

We can't wait to see you there!

13:00:00

Ticket Price:

£25

Whisky Makers VIP Masterclass - 4pm

26/10/2019

The Carnegie Whisky Cellars

Join Polly, Russell and Steven - a trio of The Macallan Whisky Makers - as they put on not one, but two amazing VIP tasting for this years Dornoch Whisky Festival!

We are so delighted to be able to offer you the chance to turn into blenders, even if only for a little while. At this masterclass you will enjoy an immersive and innovative tasting whereby you will learn all about what goes into their day to day job, all about The Macallan and how they select the whisky that you know and love!

You will then get the chance to use that knowledge to put together a 100ml dram of your own miniature of the Macallan to take away with you, based on your own personal preferences!

If you're a fan of The Macallan, or just a fan of whisky and how it's chosen, this event is for you. This trio really loves what they do and bring so much energy and passion to their tastings that this one will be really fun!

12:00:00

Ticket Price:

£100

Thompson Bros Single Cask Tasting

26/10/2019

The Vault @ The Castle

Join the Thompson Bros for their Single Cask Tasting, held in The Vault @ Dornoch Castle - a new intimate whisky tasting & private dining room. More information to follow soon.

17:00:00

Ticket Price:

£30

Rare Gordon and MacPhail Tasting & Dinner

26/10/2019

The Vault @ The Castle

Don't miss this amazing opportunity to join us for a 5-Course dinner followed by a rare G&M tasting hosted by Stephen Rankin. This is a very limited availability event with hand picked bottles by the Thompson Bros & Stephen Rankin.

19:00:00

Ticket Price:

£200

Links House X Clynelish - Sensory Evening

26/10/2019

Links House at Royal Dornoch

Pairing up with local distillery Clynelish, Links House at Royal Dornoch have put together a sensational 5 Course Sensory Menu with liquid to match!
A great opportunity to have award winning Chef, Javi show you some things a little outside the box.

19:30:00

Ticket Price:

£100

RDGC Quiz Night

26/10/2019

Royal Dornoch Golf Club

Join in the fun at the Royal Dornoch Golf Club for a quiz night !

No tickets required just come along, it is £1 per person to enter the quiz and teams can be any number of people.

19:30:00

Ticket Price:

£1 On the door

Ceilidh in the Castle

26/10/2019

The Dornoch Castle Hotel

This year we are excited to have BlackRock Ceilidh with us to round off a wonderful day after the Grand Tasting! Hailing from Evanton these folk know how to host a brilliant night and we can't wait! Over the last ten plus years, they have performed everything from pubs & hotels around the country to festivals including Belladrum, Islay, Barrafest and many others and now we get to welcome them to the Dornoch Whisky Festival!

21:00:00

Ticket Price:

£10

David Urquhart Memorial Golf Trophy

27/10/2019

Royal Dornoch Golf Club

This event is open to both men and women who have an official CoNGU handicap. Men will play from the yellow tees and women from the red tees. Included in the entry fee is coffee and bacon roll before the round with a one-course meal after the golf.
Tickets available from the end of July, 56 spaces available to Men, Women and Juniors. Cost is same as last year, £65 for non members, £43 for Struie Members and £22 for Full members.
To book, register here: www.royaldornoch.com/competitions/open-competitions

10:00:00

Ticket Price:

Varies

Whisky Cocktail Tasting

27/10/2019

The Carnegie Whisky Cellars

Join Lorna from the Carnegie Whisky Cellars team for our hugely popular whisky cocktail tasting. She'll take your favourite traditional cocktails and give them an innocative and perfectly matched twist.

11:00:00

Ticket Price:

£30

Community Market

27/10/2019

The Dornoch Castle Hotel

Held in the marquee in the Dornoch Castle Hotel grounds, the community market will give you a great chance to pick up some Highland goodies! With a range of products from homemade bakery items, to photography and crafts, there's something for everyone here.

11:00:00

Ticket Price:

Free

Links House X Mac & Wild X Rock Rose Gin BBQ Brunch

27/10/2019

Links House at Royal Dornoch

Links House at Royal Dornoch are teaming up with local BBQ wiz kids and Dunnet bay distillers, to brighten up Sunday Brunch!
Enjoy an elegant Sunday Brunch with attitude and Red Snappers! (Gin Based Bloody Mary's - first one on us!)
Chef Javi's Food, Mac & Wild Fire and Rock Rock Spice! The perfect Sunday Brunch!

12:00:00

Ticket Price:

£40

A Tasting of Local Malts

27/10/2019

The Eagle Hotel

We're bringing back this incredibly popular event from last year! It involves a tasting of local malts sourced across the Highlands, with a focus on the Highland Whisky Trail. It's a fantastic great opportunity to sample local malts right on our doorstep in the comfort of one place.

13:30:00

Ticket Price:

£25

Benromach Sensory Tasting Event

27/10/2019

The Carnegie Whisky Cellars

Immerse yourself in exactly what defines Benromach with this intimate sensory experience. A short blind nosing competition with some prizes is also up for grabs!

The following will be poured:
10YO
2008 Cask Strength
15YO
Organic
Peat Smoke
35YO

15:00:00

Ticket Price:

£50

Thompson Bros Single Cask Tasting

27/10/2019

The Vault @ The Castle

Join the Thompson Bros for their Single Cask Tasting, held in The Vault @ Dornoch Castle - a new intimate whisky tasting & private dining room. More information to follow soon.

17:00:00

Ticket Price:

£30

Independent Bottling Masterclass

27/10/2019

The Carnegie Whisky Cellars

Join Michael Hanratty, the general manager of The Carnegie Whisky Cellars for this exclusive masterclass featuring bottlings from 6 outstanding independent bottlers featured at this years Dornoch Whisky Festival Grand Tasting.

18:00:00

Ticket Price:

£60

Dornoch Distillery Old & New Site Tour

28/10/2019

Dornoch Distillery

Get a chance to join the Thompson Bros for a tour of Dornoch Distillery - both the old and the new site. Once you've had a peak to this normally off-limits distillerythat not many people get a look at, Phil & Simon will be hosting a new make & maturing cask tasting!

10:00:00

Ticket Price:

£50

Islay Comparison Tasting

28/10/2019

The Carnegie Whisky Cellars

Consisting of 6 Islay malt whiskies, tasted and compared blind. Each Whisky will be given three clues with a pair of tickets to the 2020 Dornoch Whisky Festival as the prize.

15:00:00

Ticket Price:

£40