The Mash Up Festival 2023

PR invite // All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own. 

I was so excited that The Mash Up Festival was back on this year as I had such a lovely time last year!

Once again it was hosted by Holyrood Distillery and I love how it’s focused on smaller and local brands. This year there were guests from Sweden, England, Germany and Finland on the whisky scene, whilst there was still a celebration of the local Edinburgh breweries. All of the stands are located across two floors of the distillery, one floor where the gin still lives and on the other floor is where the whisky production takes place. Outdoors there’s also a bar and The Pizza Geeks had parked their van here for the festival as well.

It’s not often you’ll come across a festival that takes place inside a distillery – and if you have questions about anything then you also have “designated distillers” from Holyrood Distillery who walk around the premises happy to stop for a chat.

My 4 Top Picks from the festival

I would say my top 4 picks are very much based on things I have not tried before which of course adds a hint of excitement, which almost feels a bit unfair to the brilliant whiskies and beers I have had the pleasure of sampling in the past, but it is what it is and I just want to say that there were so many wonderful things to try at the festival that I almost wish I could have attended more sessions.

Vault City Brewing Pina Colada

Vault City Brewing only entered my radar a couple of weeks ago whilst I was researching things to do for a friend visiting Edinburgh. I booked us in for a lunch at one of their taprooms in Portobello and as they’re focused on sour beers I was super intrigued. We had such a good time and when I saw the Pina Colada sour beer at the festival expectations were H I G H. And it was so tasty. It seems Pina Coladas are making a huge coma back, or at least for me, and this had all the goodness about the cocktail with a touch of zing and sour. If I could choose one beer to drink this summer then this might be it!

Oxford Artisan Rye

It was great to see a couple of rye whiskies at the festival such as Oxford Artisan, and of course the lovely Kyrö from Finland which I’ve come across before. Comparatively the Kyrö has more of a robust nordic flavour which is more reminiscent of rye bread, whilst the Oxford Artisan Ryes has more of a maple syrup sweetness for me. Both very good, but different which was even more fun to see!

The Oxford Artisan Distillery had brought their Easy Ryder – a more classic and straightforward rye – and Purple Grain which had more influence of Moscatel Roxo Casks from Setúbal, Portugal which gave the rye a tropical character. Two good ryes and now I feel like I have to get a bottle for my whisky shelves!

St Kilian – Thirteen

I was really excited to see German distillery St Kilian at The Mash Up as I haven’t come across them much before. The Thirteen is a single malt, bottled at 53.9% made from 54ppm peated malt and has been matured in a variety of new casks of different wood species: Palatinate Oak, Hungarian Oak, Wild Robinia (false acacia), Chestnut Wood and Cherry Wood. For me I found this whisky to be fruitier than the peated core release and really interesting and intriguing. The bottle is also really fun as it’s the shape of the Forsyths stills.

Cold Town House – Mango On Yerself

When it comes to beers I just love a good fruity one, so a second fruity beer that makes it into my list is the Cold Town House Mango On Yerself, which is a lager in style but with the influence of mango. It pretty much tastes exactly like it sounds and it super tasty!

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Check out my Instagram @swedishwhiskygirl or @scandinavianabroad to see even more photos and follow along on future adventures.

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Moa Nilsson

Adventurous Swede with a fondness for castles, snow and vintagesque experiences.

Scandinavian Abroad

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