The Questions We've Been Asked

We will be back again after last years sell out success! Our festival is always held on the last weekend of October so mark your diaries! 

Well, we are a whisky festival… that takes place in… Dornoch. 

But to elaborate on that, back in 2015 a group of businesses came together with the idea of creating a centre of excellence for whisky in the North Highlands. We have a whole host of whisky related venues and lovers so it made sense to come together and create our wee festival. 

Over the weekend we have a whole host of events (normally around 30) that celebrate whisky and Dornoch in general. Arguably our most popular event is the Grand Tasting which is always held on the Saturday of the whisky festival weekend and hosts around 30 different exhibitors from across Scotland and they bring with them countless whiskies – it didn’t go ahead in 2020/21, but fingers crossed for 2022!

Our annual festival always takes place on the last weekend of October. 

All over Dornoch! You’ll be able to visit our ‘Venues’ page when it’s back up and running soon to find out more about some of the places where events will be held this year. The Dornoch Whisky Festival Grand Tasting will be held in a marquee on the grounds of the Dornoch Castle Hotel.

Starting in 2024, we have introduced split sessions to the Dornoch Whisky Festival Grand Tasting. This change comes after we sold out of tickets very early in 2023 and were unable to offer any tickets at the door.

We want our events, and whisky in general, to be accessible to everyone. Because we love our venue so much, our best way to expand the Grand Tasting was to introduce split sessions. Now, you can choose between a morning session from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM and an afternoon session from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM.

As you know, we take responsible drinking very seriously so you will only be able to attend one session.

These times still allow those of you with dinner bookings to attend both events.

The Dornoch Whisky Festival Grand Tasting is in two sessions. One from 11:30am – 2:30pm and another from 3:30pm – 6:30pm. You can only attend one session though. 

You can purchase tickets for the Dornoch Whisky Festival Main Tasting on our ‘‘Events‘ page and you’ll also be able to buy them on the door on the day, subject to availability.

We think tickets to any part of the Dornoch Whisky Festival would be a lovely gift, so yes, of course you can. All you have to do is make sure you pop their name in when you buy them. If you’d like us to fancy it up a bit, we’ll be more than happy to – just send us an e-mail here

The Grand Tasting itself is based around whisky with some gins and other liqueurs having their own stands. On the day we sell half tickets and also some tickets for those who wont be drinking, so don’t feel you have to be a hardcore, bona fide whisky lover to join in (subject to availability).  

Outside of the Grand Tasting we have a lot of love for gins and cocktails with our events that make up the Dornoch Whisky Festival. 

We also have a range of dinners where the whisky compliments the food, but obviously the food is a huge part of the experience. 

However, if you have found yourself in a very common situation where your partner/friend/relative is a whisky lover and wants to join us for the weekend, but it’s just not your cup of  tea, don’t worry! Dornoch is an amazing town and has lots to do outside of the Dornoch Whisky Festival. 

Have a look at the Visit Dornoch website for some great ideas of things to do. 

No, you cannot attend the Grand Tasting.

We adhere to a strict Challenge 25 policy and as such, anyone looking under the age of 25 will be required to produce one of the following forms of government approved ID:
• A Passport
• A European Union photocard driving license
• A Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
• A photographic identity card bearing the national Proof of Age Standard Scheme (PASS) hologram
• A national identity card issued by a European Union member state (other than the United Kingdom), Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.
• A Biometric Immigration Document

However, in some cases where there is no alcohol included in the ticket price then ID will not be required. When booking tickets online it will be stated if you are required to bring ID to the event.
If you are in doubt, please just contact us.

We’d love you to stay in Dornoch. We have lots of accommodation options including hotels, B&B’s and self-catering properties to make Dornoch your home away from home. Have a look at Dornoch’s official website for accommodation options and much more. You can find it here.

Don’t worry about it – we know these things happen so just send us an e-mail here  and we’ll be happy to help. Please try and do so as soon as possible so we can try and resell your ticket as a lot of our events are limited in numbers and they normally have a waitlist. If this isn’t possible, we would rather know and not wait for you to arrive (even if it is five minutes before) than not know at all and worry about you. 

Grand Tasting tickets can always be refunded up to the day before but other events are subject to the venue hosting them. 

We’re always looking for great brands, products and exhibitors to join the Dornoch Whisky Festival family! For more information, please just email us here.

Okay – so maybe we just wanted you to know this and that no one actually asked… yet!

What it boils down to is that the Dornoch Whisky Festival wouldn’t be possible without the help of a whole host of talented people, businesses, supporters and of course, you!

You can find out more about the amazing businesses and supporters we have soon – we’re making them their own page. Don’t worry, we wont have a page on you – even though we know you’re a supporter. 

Right here – we put them all on the same page for your ease of reading – you may want to grab a dram – they’re not short!

Above are a few of our most frequently asked questions but the more people ask them, the more we will update them! 

If we haven’t answered your question below, just contact us here and we’ll get you an answer – it may even turn up on this page – how exciting!