Guests will be collected from Inverness airport or train station at the start of their experience (from £1,590 for two people, including two whisky dinners and a barbecue lunch, as well as tickets to the festival) and whisked to Dornoch for the day’s events: a Port Askaig masterclass at The Carnegie Whisky Cellars; a Morrison & MacKay cheese and whisky tasting; and a Japanese versus Irish whiskey tasting session at the Dornoch Castle Hotel. Welcome drinks will be served at Links House, followed by an eight-course tasting dinner prepared by Javier Santos, executive head chef, formerly of Le Gavroche and The Waterside Inn. His dishes will be paired with The Macallan scotch, with the meal hosted by expert Polly Logan.
Saturday’s events kick off at noon with the Thompson Brothers’ “old and rare bottle tasting” at Dornoch Castle Hotel. For dinner, Santos will prepare a five-course “sensory menu”, again paired with whisky – on this occasion hosted by Jacqueline James-Bow, a manager at Clynelish Distillery. Diners can expect dishes such as North Sea cod and Orkney scallop “chorizo” sausage with spiced crackling and onion gravy, paired with a Clynelish 14-year-old whisky; and haggis with foie gras, served with a 2014 Clynelish Special Release.
Mac & Wild, a small group of Scottish restaurants known for sourcing some of Scotland’s best meats and produce, will host a barbecue on the Sunday. Events in Dornoch will include a whisky cocktail tasting and a bottling masterclass. On Monday, after breakfast, there will be a tour of Dornoch Distillery. The experience will end suitably with an “Islay comparison tasting” session.