Whisky enthusiasts and curious connoisseurs are gearing up for the 18th Victoria Whisky Festival, set to take place from Jan. 18 to 21, 2024, at the Hotel Grand Pacific.
This annual event promises to be a true extravaganza for whisky lovers, featuring an extended lineup that includes distillers, global brand ambassadors and distillery managers from around the world, all eager to share their stories, distillery secrets and an array of whisky samples with festivalgoers. Tickets for this event on sale at The Strath Wine, Ale and Spirit Merchants.
With a history of selling out every year, the 2024 festival offers a diverse range of ticket options, including additional masterclasses and grand tastings, ensuring accessibility for a broader audience.
Each year, the festival strikes a balance between showcasing established distilleries and introducing newcomers to the scene. The extensive lineup of grand tastings and masterclasses reflects the growing diversity of whisky enthusiasts, including more women and a younger fan base.
The highlights for this year’s festival include the Lost Distillery Grand Tasting, a special opportunity to savour whiskies that recreate the flavor profiles of Scotland’s most popular spirits from a century ago. Additionally, “The Great Whisky Debate” returns for a second year, presenting a head-to-head tasting of whiskies from Canada, Scotland and the United States – allowing the audience to determine the champion.
As the whisky industry evolves, the festival mirrors the growing diversity in its attendees, with an increasing number of women in distilling and distillery management roles. The 2024 festival proudly boasts the largest number of female presenters in its history.
Whisky enthusiasts can look forward to a vast selection of over 200 drams from 50 distilleries. The festival kicks off on Jan. 18 with the Canadian Whisky Awards, recognizing the finest whisky makers and innovators across Canada. The event includes an awards presentation and dinner, honoring excellence in distilling with gold, silver, and bronze medals in numerous categories.
In 2023, the festival raised over $40,000 for local charitable organizations, emphasizing its commitment to community engagement.
“The Festival lineup is reflective of what people are interested in. Popular distilleries with long histories are in attendance beside brand-new distilleries that are trying new things,” said Frank Hudson, festival president and co-organizer. “We have a number of independent bottlers in attendance who will be showcasing unique and often limited whiskies. Whisky is very personal, and the Festival is where people can explore something new and different.”