Living: 2021 Whisky Festivals, Amy’s Version
Working in a small and independent Distillery you get to experience all aspects of making whisky.
Some fun, like smelling the casks before they’ve been filled with new make spirit, some a little less so. But the part of working at the Spirit Of Yorkshire Distillery I enjoy the most is getting out and sharing our whisky and our story. Flavour and drinks are things I have always been interested in, so when the opportunity to work in a distillery came up, I knew I wanted to be part of it. I started working as a Barista in the Pot Still Coffee shop and after a few months, I learnt all about the process of making whisky. Tours were the next step and I loved talking to people about the Distillery, our ethos and how we make our single malt.
Whilst the pandemic was still prevalent at the beginning of 2021, it looked like things were going to stay quiet, with companies and people reluctant to commit to events. When summer arrived and restrictions were relaxed, for us here at the distillery, this meant that we were able to get on the road sharing our passion for Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky.
Towards the end of this year, our friends over at The Whisky Lounge held the first whisky festivals back after two years, and we were excited to be a part of that. This year was the first time I had ever really experienced a Whisky festival, so this was a completely new experience for me and one I was eager to be part of!
We were in Liverpool for one day in September at the Metropolitan Cathedral. The Cathedral is such a beautiful building, and the festival itself was held in Lutyens Crypt. This was the first festival of 2021 and most of the people attending had bought tickets back in 2019. As you can imagine, everyone was so eager to get in and start tasting whisky. The festival was organised really well, with all of the Covid restrictions and requirements in place, making people feel safe to be there and of course, protecting the exhibitors. The crowd was a good size and we found ourselves constantly talking to people interested in us. We were pouring Filey Bay Flagship, Moscatel Finish #1, STR #1, and Peated Finish #1.
In October we were in Manchester for two days at the Manchester Cathedral, and this was just as fun as Liverpool. We saw some familiar faces from Liverpool who couldn’t stay away and met some new friends too. We poured a wider range of our Whisky here. Starting with the Filey Bay Flagship, Moscatel Finish #1, STR Finish #1, IPA Finish #1, and our special release, Filey Bay Sherry Cask Reserve #2. The most popular dram I poured was the Filey Bay IPA finish. People also really seemed to enjoy the collaboration between us and our sister company, Wold Top Brewery.
We finished on the 27th November on our home ground, at York Racecourse. This was exciting in a different way because not only were we finishing the year with a show on home ground, but the weather decided to really test us and the rest of the people attending. The weather was snowy and icy, and even before we set off we heard of transport being cancelled and delayed. This meant that the festival was a little quieter because some of the transport had been cancelled. This, however, didn’t stop anyone really enjoying the day! The rest of the Distillery team came to join us and experience the festival first hand, and it was lovely to be able to share the fun. The whisky being poured here was similar to the lineup in Manchester, with the exception of Filey Bay STR Finish Batch 2, which was our latest release. This had spent more time in each of the casks and had really rounded out the red fruit flavours in the whisky.
On the whole, it was lovely to be able to see everyone again and really talk through our whisky journey and the different expressions we have. Next year is looking bigger and better, with even more events on the calendar, and even more whisky being poured.
Written by Amy Teasdale, UK Brand Ambassador.