DramFest Sessions for 2018

The DramFest Sessions are an opportunity for you to enjoy a sit-down tasting with some of our visiting experts from Scotland and further afield. The lineup for these sessions will be unveiled in the coming months - please see below for a look back at the previous event's sessions.

A look back at 2016's Sessions:


Anthony Wills from Kilchoman Distillery
1:30pm    $45

Founded at Rockside farm in 2005 on the windswept western edge of Islay, the Kilchoman distillery has in a short time established itself as one of Scotland's cult distilleries.

Anthony and Kathy Wills, owners and founders of Kilchoman return to DramFest to share their continuing story of being one of the very few distilleries in Scotland whose entire process of production from barley growing to distillation, maturation and bottling all take place at the distillery itself.

Anthony will be bringing with him some very special expressions of Kilchoman never seen in New Zealand - Islay fans, do not miss out on this tasting.

Alex Bruce from Adelphi

Hon. Alex Bruce from Adelphi
2:45pm    $65

The Adelphi selection has for many years been something of a legend amongst whisky enthusiasts in New Zealand -  their single-cask and small batch bottlings from around Scotland are chosen for an uncomprising focus on big, complex and exceptional whiskies.

Widely regarded as one of Scotland's premier independent bottlers, Alex's session will offer a world-class selection of whiskies, and he will also share news of the progress at Adelphi's Ardnamurchan distillery, founded in 2014.

Murray Campbell, Bruichladdich

Murray Campbell from Bruichladdich Distillery
4:00pm    $45

Murray Campbell, an Oban, Scotland native returns to DramFest to host the Bruichladdich session on Saturday. Murray is a brand ambassador for the distillery and even though he is based in Asia, his ties to Islay and the distillery run deep, with his uncle being none other than master distiller Duncan McGilvery of Bruichladdich.

We look forward to Murray taking us through Bruichladdich's expressions which range from the traditional unpeated style, through to terrior influenced barley expressions through to the worlds most heavily peated whisky, Octomore.

Stewart Buchanan

Session D:
Stewart Buchanan, BenRiach, GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh distilleries
1:30pm    $65

Stewart Buchanan is no ordinary brand ambassador - he has worked in the industry for over 20 years making whisky, and in most recent years as production manager for BenRiach. Stewart is also heavily involved in the cask management and selection of BenRiach, GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh whiskies including their famous single cask bottlings.

This is Stewart's first time in New Zealand for DramFest, and his tasting will look in depth at the BenRiach, GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh distilleries.

Please note: this was previously advertised as a BenRiach tasting - it has now been changed to include all 3 distilleries that Stewart represents.


David Allen from Springbank Distillery
2:45pm    $65

The Springbank distillery is one of only three remaining distilleries in the Campbeltown region, situated at the southern tip of the Mull of Kintyre. Independently owned since its establishment in 1828, they carry on the old traditions of distilling by doing everything on-site from malting to bottling.

David Allen joined the Springbank team several years ago and is involved in many aspects of the distillery and its products, and of note is part of the team that chooses casks for bottling and is known to have a keen nose. David's tasting will look closely at some of the styles of whisky produced at Springbank, from the triple distilled through to heavily peated.

David White from Glenmorangie & Ardbeg Distilleries
4:00pm    $45

David White is the International Director for The Glenmorangie company, who own two of Scotland's most iconic distilleries, Glenmorangie and Ardbeg. David's tasting will look at these two contrasting whiskies, Ardbeg hailing from the west coast of Islay (with its traditional peaty smoky style) and Glenmorangie (famed for its tallest stills and light spirit) just north of Inverness. David has said to us that he will be bringing with him some very special whiskies for his masterclass.