World Whisky Day 2018

Nearly 26,000 whisky fans celebrated World Whisky Day 2018 at official events circling the globe from the first drams raised in Tonga to the last in Tahiti. Here's how White Light created, curated and covered this year's gargantuan gathering.

Prolific partying

Hundreds of official registered events took place on May 19, covering all seven continents and circling the globe east to west. Highlights ranged from a 300-ft bear being carved out on a hill above the Lindores Abbey Distillery and set alight, to research scientists sharing their private whisky collections in Antarctica. In Edinburgh, White Light’s very own Human Bar was dishing out drams and cocktail samples on top of Calton Hill (this time with the help of the Whisky Wheel of Fortune), and our HQ event at Fireside included games, music and a series of whisky talks and tasting sessions.

Who deserves a dram?

The cornerstone for this year's event was our ‘You Deserve a Dram’ campaign. World Whisky Day is intended as an open and inclusive celebration of whisky, so we wanted to shine a spotlight on the whole whisky family. Via our social media feeds and regular email newsletters we asked for stories from the drinkers and drammers, the geeks and the greenhorns, the makers and the mixologists – across the broad spectrum of whisky fans. A dram of whisky is one of life’s great pleasures that friends and families can enjoy together so we asked our followers and subscribers to spread a little love by telling us who they felt deserved a dram, and why.

To help inspire participants we sourced and shared our own stories on the World Whisky Day blog about deserving drammers, including whisky lovers (meet the 106-year-old charity fundraiser!), industry legends and some giants from whisky’s history. Then we launched a competition to win a rare bottle of Springbank whisky for the best story and published some of the best entries on the blog. On the day itself we ran a second competition on Twitter, which was much easier to enter, to encourage the more casual followers to take part and spread the use of our hashtags. 

A social dram

World Whisky Day is always an incredibly social phenomenon with many sharing their plans and drams for the day across social media. Even with the Royal Wedding dominating the day’s news agenda, #WorldWhiskyDay was still trending on Twitter in the UK, and throughout the day we brought the whisky conversation to tens of millions of people on social media. The White Light team spent the day promoting some of the best social posts, interacting with followers, as well creating their own content including the below ‘Dram by Drone’ film short. 

Great news for whisky

The world’s press helped spread the whisky gospel with scores of stories produced by print, digital and broadcast outlets about and inspired by World Whisky Day, encouraged by regular press releases in the run up to the day. In an interview with World Whisky Day Founder, Blair Bowman, Forbes hailed the event as “probably the largest-ever whisky-related social media project”.

The Great Whisky Raffle

White Light has a strong track record for helping good causes like Social Bite. This year's World Whisky Day raised funds again for our charity partner, Just a Drop, by raffling off a unique collection of more than 40 bottles of whisky.