OurWhisky is set to launch its first virtual whisky festival with the aim of connecting whisky fans with their favourite distillers and blenders around the world, while also raising money for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The festival will run over four consecutive Thursday evenings from April 30 to May 21 and it promises to welcome “some of the world’s greatest whisky makers” who will guide visitors through a curated selection of drams.

Each week ticket holders will be sent a pack containing five unmarked whisky samples and they will be invited to join a live-streamed tasting hosted on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. To retain the element of surprise, the style, region and age of the whiskies will be kept secret until the tasting itself.

Becky Paskin, co-founder of OurWhisky and Icons of Whisky Communicator of the Year 2020, said: “We wanted to recreate the curiosity and excitement you get with real life whisky festival masterclasses. While our guests won’t know the identity of their whiskies, or the personalities who will be introducing them until the tasting, we promise they’ll be in for an unforgettable experience.

“We’ve approached some of the biggest names in whisky, who will be joining us direct from their own living rooms to share some of the liquid they’ve created.

“This is a rare chance for whisky lovers to discover new bottles they may otherwise have overlooked, while connecting with the whisky makers themselves.”

Guests will also be given the chance to ask questions in a live Q&A event, compered by Paskin.  

Tickets will be available to purchase for £30 each from ourwhisky.com with just 50 tasting packs available for each session.

All proceeds from the festival, which is also being sponsored by the featured brands, will be donated to The Drinks Trust, formerly known as The Benevolent.

Paskin said: “The hospitality industry is on its knees. We wanted to find a way to support the bartenders and other professionals who are personally struggling during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is also a way for whisky lovers to support the industry – by continuing to try new expressions, communicate with each other and buy bottles, they will be helping distillers and blenders navigate this period of uncertainty.”

Ross Carter, chief executive of The Drinks Trust, said: “We have been so impressed by the diversity of the fundraising initiatives set up during this difficult time by all our supporters and this one emphasises exactly what The Drinks Trust is all about; championing education and community whilst raising money for the charity. We are very grateful to OurWhisky for setting it up and hope it is a great success.”

The festival also marks the start of a new phase for OurWhisky. Launched in 2018 as a social media movement to challenge the outdated perception that whisky is a “man’s drink”, OurWhisky is evolving into an educational platform.

While continuing to represent the face of the modern whisky drinker, OurWhisky’s new website and social channels will also be dedicated to helping curious consumers navigate the world of whisky in an accessible, easy-to-follow and fun way, providing all the tools and knowledge they need to find whiskies they’ll love.

The new website is set to launch later this year.

The OurWhisky Virtual Whisky Festival will run at 6pm GMT on April 30, May 7, 14 and 21. Tasting packs can only be sent to UK addresses.

The festival will be live streamed on OurWhisky’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels, as well as at ourwhisky.com.