The world’s most famous whisky festival, Fèis Ìle – Festival of Islay, is coming to Melbourne in June. The event has partnered with The Whisky Show to host the world’s first official ‘Friends of Fèis Ìle 2022’.
For those who are not familiar with the tiny Scottish island of Islay, it’s fondly nicknamed the “Whisky Island” due to its concentration of nine celebrated whisky producing distilleries. Scotch whisky made on Islay is renowned for its smoky character, derived from peat, considered a central characteristic of the Islay malts.
Launched in 1986, Fèis Ìle is an annual series of events held at the distilleries and other locations on the island. It celebrates the whisky and culture of the island through music, dancing, distillery open days, and whisky tastings.
As many people are not able to make the annual pilgrimage to Scotland, The Whisky Show is bring the festival experience to Australia. It will feature all nine Islay distilleries, including Ardbeg, Ardnahoe, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavulin, and Laphroaig. To build on the festivities, other neighbouring whisky distilleries on smaller islands and Independent Bottlings of these distilleries have been invited to showcase their whiskies to festival attendees. These include Highland Park, Jura, Ledaig, Carn Mor, North Star, Hunter Laing, and Elements of Islay.
Melbourne’s award winning whisky bar The Elysian will also be running a dedicated pop-up whisky bar on site, pouring rare and hard to find Islay whiskies. A selection of previous year releases and long sold out Fèis Ìle bottlings will be available to purchase at the bar, with 15ml pours starting at $6.
Founder of The Whisky Show David Ligoff said: “Whisky drinkers who are already familiar with Fèis Ìle know just how truly special these festivals are. People from all over the world travel to Scotland for Fèis Ìle.”
“We partnered with Fèis Ìle because of their shared ethos for creating exceptional whisky festivals, and celebrating the island of Islay, and its heritage. Each year a number of our show attendees always ask if we can do a dedicated Whisky Show just for Scottish Islay distilleries, and we are thrilled to announce that day is finally here.
“An immense amount of work has been put into this by everyone, including all the distilleries and their Australian distributors to get some truly special and exclusive whiskies over from Scotland in time for the show. We can’t wait to present Australia’s first whisky show celebrating Fèis Ìle to whisky lovers down under. It’s going to be the whisky event of the year and one no fan of Islay whiskies should miss!”
Islay Festival Committee Chair Florence Grey said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with The Whisky Show in Australia to bring the message of the Islay Festival, its welcoming atmosphere, plus Islay’s delicious whisky to your event! Slàinte mhath to all!”
Friends of Fèis Ìle 2022 will be held on 4 June 2022, at the Stamford Plaza, Melbourne. Tickets are priced at $169 each, giving access to browse and sample over 60 different Scotch whiskies.
Tickets are available at thewhiskyshow.com.au and go officially on sale on Thursday 28 April, 2022.