You might remember that I went to the Tomintoul Fireside Sessions last year – which you can read about here – and I was so happy to be back this year as well as it’s really such a good event. Yes, I might be slightly biased as my fiancé works for the brand, but I obviously wouldn’t say so if it wasn’t (I just wouldn’t mention it at all). I absolutely love enjoying a dram outdoors as it just makes the whole experience so much better, and that’s one of the reasons I love the Tomintoul Fireside Sessions.
When you arrive you get a little tour around the distillery, which doesn’t have a visitor centre and therefor you can’t normally book a tour here. The tour ends up in the still room where Master Blender Iain Forteath has made his tasty hot toddy for everyone to enjoy. Iain is your host for the evening and it’s not uncommon for Distillery Manager Robert and Assistant Distillery Manager Rob to make appearances for the distillery tour either.
After warming up with the hot toddies everyone walks down to the river Avon (pronounced “Ann”) where the bonfires are set up. Iain pours a variety of drams throughout the evening – from core releases to single casks and of course the Cigar malt – one of my favourites from Tomintoul – where those who wish to also get a cigar. I don’t smoke, but will happily drink the Cigar Malt without any accompanying cigars. It’s usually about 50/50 for those who smoke and those who don’t, so you don’t feel left out if you opt out. Most people choose to take part in roasting marshmallows however – which goes surprisingly well with a whisky!
This year there were two dogs present for the tasting , and they were so well behaved and tried their best to guilt trip you into pets and attention anytime you walked by.
Another great thing about the Fireside Sessions event is that Tomintoul arranges a bus for pick up and drop off in Aberlour, Craigellachie and Dufftown so if you’re staying in any of these areas it means no-one has to drive.
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