Third edition of popular whisky festival returns to Rome
Italy's premier whisky event returns to Rome for the third consecutive year, following the success of last year’s two-day event which attracted almost 3,000 visitors.
This year the expanded event takes place over three days, in two different venues: the Aranciera di S. Sisto near the Circus Maximus from 15-16 March, and the Teatro Ambra in Garbatella which hosts Spirit of Scotland Plus on 17 March.
The festival showcases over 2,000 whisky labels from well-known to rare, and includes tastings and masterclasses, while the third day of the event is devoted to the art of whisky-based mixology and is held in collaboration with the Jerry Thomas Project Rome.
Although most of the festival's whisky is from Scotland there are also malts from Taiwanese and Japanese distillers, and bourbon from the USA. Distillery representatives will be on hand to present a series of 11 masterclasses while the uninitiated can enjoy a brief introduction to Scottish single malts with the "Whisky ABC."
The festival involves traditional Scottish fare such as shortbread, haggis, oysters, salmon, herrings and jams displayed alongside Italian delicacies, and a novelty this year will see Scottish whisky offered with Indian cuisine. Visitors can also enjoy a Scottish beer or two while listening to Scottish and Irish music provided by folk band Be Folk.
The competition Whisky & Lode features expert judges who select the best whiskies of the festival in a blind tasting. The winners in each of three main categories receive their awards at the festival on 16 March while this year’s special festival release, a Littlemill 21-year-old whisky from the Scottish Lowlands, will be presented on 15 March. Last year the festival bottled a 14-year-old Benrinnes. Proceeds from the competition will later be donated to the international charity Operation Smile Italia.
The festival enjoys the patronage of the British embassy in Rome and is promoted by the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the British government agency for the promotion of export and the encouragement of foreign investment.