Every day, we welcome visitors from all over the world to our distillery and this winter, we’re inviting our neighbours to call round too! From Christmas Eve until the end of February, we’ll be offering free tours to local residents in partnership with The Orcadian newspaper.
We all visit new places when we travel away from home – the journeys of our own visitors bear testament to that – but sometimes we forget what’s right here on our doorstep. We’ve partnered with The Orcadian newspaper to offer free tours for local residents in Orkney, so look out for the voucher on 20th December, cut it out and bring it with you. We’re looking forward to saying hello!
Time with our own tribe
The festive season is all about spending time with friends and family so we’ll be downing tools at the distillery, visitor centre and shop from 3pm on Christmas Eve until 3rd January although our online shop will stay open for business throughout the festive season.
Time for tradition
One of the most celebrated events in Orkney’s calendar is ‘The Ba’ Game’ which takes place on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day every year. A version of medieval football, the game is played with a handmade, cork-filled leather ball – it’s an exquisite piece of craftsmanship (a new Ba’ is made for each game) and it’s the coveted trophy awarded to the player on the winning side who has made the biggest contribution over the most years.
The Ba’ Game sees the Donnies (those born north of St Magnus Cathedral) and the Uppies (those born to the south) launch a long and hard-fought battle for control of the ball through the town of Kirkwall. Local shops board up their windows in preparation for the mighty skirmish as the teams chase the Ba’ up alleys and down streets until victory is declared. The winning goal? The Uppies must touch the Ba’ against a wall in the south of Kirkwall while the Doonies must submerge it in the waters of Kirkwall Bay to the north.
This year, six intrepid members of our distillery team are taking part in the Ba’ Game – Keith Moar and James McConnachie for the Doonies and Ronnie Paterson, Shaun Deerness, Brian Firth and Erik Smith for the Uppies. Ronnie has the distinction of winning the Ba’ twice in the past – once for the under 16 boys and again as an adult. A formidable competitor!