The Spirit of Conservation is just one week away – and we can’t wait! If you’re bubbling with anticipation like Spey, then you’re sure to enjoy these seven curated facts about the exclusive reception in support of a most noble cause.
1. The distillery
Republic Restoratives is a women-owned, community-funded, and community-driven distillery and tasting room in the most urban corner of Washington, DC. Located in a 2-story former warehouse along the old B&O Railroad Yard, the distillery produces vodka, bourbon, rye, and brandy. To date, it remains the largest crowd-funded distillery in the world.
2. The ambassador
The event will be hosted by Her Excellency Vlora Çitaku, Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo. Ms. Çitaku was only a teen when she became an interpreter for major Western news outlets at the onset of the Kosovo war. She has been involved with politics since 1999, having been elected to Parliament in two mandates, and has served as the nation’s acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.
3. The Scots
Spey is honored to take its name from the graceful River Spey that trickles and turns through the Scottish Highlands. In homage to this inheritance, Spey supports campaigns that educate and empower local Scots to care for their river environments. Expect to see much tartan and more than a few kilted gentlemen at the event!
4. The piper
Tracy Jenkins is a Highland and Border piper based in the Washington, DC area. He has played since age 13, studying under Pipe Major Matthew Kuldell and Finn Moore. Tracy plays with the Washington Scottish Pipe Band and at area sessions, and has recently recorded with both Mark Walbridge and Seán Heely.
5. The cause
The freshwater pearl mussel is perilously threatened throughout its range and is classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as critically endangered in Europe, having declined by 95 percent. Scotland boasts some of the largest remaining populations, but even there, the population has halved within the last decade and is now extinct in 73 Scottish rivers.
6. The whisky
The evening will begin with a guided tasting of a rare single malt in the upper barrel aging room of the distillery. Dapper mixologists will also craft delicious concoctions from behind the bar, while a wee auction of rare whiskies is sure to delight the whisky enthusiast. Not a whisky fan? Don’t worry. Champagne, wine, cocktails, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages will also be available.
7. The fiddler
Seán Heely is a multi-genre violinist and champion fiddler who is rapidly emerging as one of the most creatively versatile and captivating young artists of his generation. Equally at home across a swath of musical genres, his repertoire includes classical, Scottish, Irish, bluegrass, and gypsy swing melodies. Exclusively at The Spirit of Conservation, he will debut an original tune inspired by the luster of Spey.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your ticket to this amazing event today! Cocktails, canapés, and bagpipes, all for a good cause? Now that’s a life more lustrous with Spey.