26 Jun 2023

Our Women of Whisky at The Borders Book Festival

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Categorized under: Whisky

On the 15th of June, the sun came out for this year’s Borders Book Festival, we hosted our very own event Women of Whisky, which was the first sell out show of the weekend! The Borders Book Festival started in June of 2004 in Melrose with Alistair Moffat having the great idea of holding a small gathering in Melrose, with Paula Ogilvie. The Audience was at 400 and now has grown into a 4 day festival with more than 40,000 people attending the 2023 event.

Harmony  Garden – via Borders Book Festival

For the first Women of Whisky event, we welcomed Morag Garden, CEO of the English Whisky Guild, Becky Paskin, whisky writer and founder of the OurWhisky Foundation and our very own Kirsten Blackburn, Head of Marketing at The Borders Distillery.

From Left to Right: Becky Paskin, Kirsten Blackburn and Morag Garden

Founded in 2022, English Whisky Guild currently consists of 23 members, 45 active distilleries with a spirit growth of 178%, forecasting 50,000 maturing casks by 2024. Morag Garden, the former Scotch Whisky Association Executive, now CEO of the English Whisky Guild. The English Whisky sector continues to expand and gain recognition as Garden, an experienced environmentalist and former head of sustainability and innovation at the Scotch Whisky Association, joins the English Whisky Guild (EWG) to represent the growing industry and work towards establishing English whisky as a respected choice worldwide.

Award-winning whisky expert and TV personality, Becky Paskin, with a diverse portfolio of writing for various trade and consumer publications, and the drinks expert for ITV Weekend, she has gained recognition for her knowledge and expertise, and one of the only drinks journalist in the world to have a distilling qualification. Paskin established the OurWhisky Foundation in March 2022. A non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing, supporting, and empowering women in the whisky industry worldwide. By fostering collaboration within the global whisky community, the foundation seeks to challenge traditional gender stereotypes in the industry and create an inclusive environment that enables women to flourish in their careers.

Each panellist served a dram that reflects a part of their industry story, Morag brought Iris from The Lakes Distllery, Becky served a cocktail the Nc’Nean Highball and Kirsten, with our first Whisky to leave the distillery, Borders Malt and Rye. Engaging in spirited discussions with the audience, they actively challenge and redefine our perspectives on whisky while cultivating an enjoyable atmosphere.


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