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Single Malt Mancation in Speyside
There's a certain romance to the soft, bucolic green hills of Scotland--a romance that wouldn't normally inspire us to take a trip there with the guys. But after hearing about the whisky festival in Speyside we're changing our minds. Pack your best tweed jacket for this mancation, and come ready to quaff some of the finest single malts the island has to offer.
Speyside, an area taking its name from the river Spey, has a history of making whisky that stretches more than 150 years. Even back when distilling was a "crime against the crown," says the Guardian, it was home to more than 200 distilleries. Many of the world's most popular whiskies have emerged from the region (Johnnie Walker ring a bell?) but the more artisan single malts are Speyside's signature. Benromach, one of the smallest distilleries, has a shop in the town of Elgin that sells 750 kinds of malts.
The Spirit of Speyside whisky festival runs May 1 - 5, and includes a variety of tours, tastings, food events and (if you're still able to stand) even dancing. The festival drew about 16,000 people last year and some of the events are already fully booked. As always, classiness comes with a price--tastings run from about $10 - $40 each.