Bikers roar into Speyside Distillery to choose Thunder in the Glens anniversary bottling
Motorbike enthusiasts were revved up for a special mission at Speyside Distillery – to choose the single malt whisky that will become the toast of Europe’s largest Harley Davidson rally.
The world-famous Thunder In The Glens event at Aviemore will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a limited edition bottling of single malt whisky of the same age from Speyside Distillery.
The boutique distillery is located in the heart of the Cairngorms – an area which has become the bikers’ spiritual home in August for the past two decades – and the bottling will bring together two iconic brands.
A group of Harley Davidson enthusiasts descended on the distillery during the week’s Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival – another event which draws thousands of visitors to the area – to help select the whisky that will be bottled with a commemorative label for the anniversary.
The anniversary bottling builds on Speyside Distillery’s links with Thunder In The Glens as the distillery launched its rich ruby-black whisky Beinn Dubh, during last year’s event.
Rally organisers visited Speyside Distillery were involved in selecting the whisky, with guiding hand CEO John Harvey McDonough and managing director Patricia Dillon – and Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival chairman, James Campbell.
John says, “When we heard that 2016 was an important year for Thunder of the Glens, we thought that a special bottling from Speyside Distillery, located in the heart of the Cairngorms, would be a really good way of marking the milestone year.
“As this is such an important event, we wanted to ensure that the anniversary bottling was a very special one. Our 20 year old whisky is extremely rare so is in very short supply, and anyone who gets a bottle will have a special piece of the distillery’s history.
“The rally has been a real success story, going from strength to strength, and it’s great to know that enthusiasts from all over the UK, and further afield, have such an affinity with the Cairngorms area that they keep coming back, and in greater numbers, every year.
“We’re pleased to be working with the organisers in this way and building on the connections we already have with Thunder In The Glens following the launch of Beinn Dubh at the rally last year.
“In much the same was that bikers make a pilgrimage to Thunder In The Glens, whisky lovers come from all over the world for The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. We were honoured to be able to select the cask during the Festival, bringing two iconic Scottish events together for the first time.”
Thunder in the Glens has become one of the major events in the UK for Harley Davidson enthusiasts, and it is now officially the largest Harley Davidson rally in the UK with an ever growing number of loyal fans. It takes place this year from August 26 to 29.
It has a great reputation amongst Harley fans and visitors who are rewarded with a fantastic programme of events, the thrill of riding through the scenic mountains and glens and experiencing world-famous Scottish hospitality.
This year’s event is expected to be the biggest yet, with 3,000 making the pilgrimage to the region and many more coming to see the spectacle.
Rally co-ordinator George McGuire was one of the bikers involved in selecting the cask. He feels the commemorative bottling from Speyside Distillery is an ideal way to celebrate the rally’s close affinity to the Cairngorms area.
“We are pleased to be working with Speyside Distillery to produce a single malt whisky especially for our anniversary year. This is a great way to mark 20 years of Thunder In the Glens and the links we have developed with the local area,” George explains.
“We’ve already had interest from people who have heard about our plans and they have requested two bottles – one to drink and the other to keep as a reminder of the 20th year of Thunder In The Glens.”
Speyside Distillery opened its doors to the public for the second year in a row during the festival, giving visitors a rare opportunity to see inside the picturesque distillery at exclusive behind the scenes tours and tastings.
Speyside Distillery, home of the SPEY brand of malt whisky, has been in production since 1990 and is operated by Speyside Distillers Ltd. For further information about Speyside Distillery, visit www.speysidedistillery.co.uk. Follow Speyside Distillery on Twitter @SpeySingleMalt and on Facebook at facebook.com/speysidedistillery