When it comes to Whisky, Scotland can be divided into four very distinct regions. These four main regions are each famed for bringing their own unique characteristics, flavours and history to the nations much loved drink of choice. Much can be learned about a whisky by understanding the region from which it originated. Come with us as we explore these five famous regions and the whiskies of which they produce.
Probably the most famous of the five Scottish Whisky regions are the Highlands. The Highlands are also the largest of the five regions. The highlands are iconic for their sprawling scenery; rolling mountains, winding rivers and vast lochs. It is the purity of this environment that lends itself to the whisky that is produced here. Highland whiskies can range from dry to sweet, with smoke and peaty tones that are a result of the heather covered moors that feed the Scottish waters.
At the opposite end of the country lies the Lowlands which starts within the Clyde and Tayside valleys. Rolling mountains are replaced by lush stretching fields and woodland; perfect for growing the barley that gives birth to our prized drink. As a result of this, the whiskies of the lowlands tend to be lighter in character, incorporating the character and flavours of the green grassy landscape.
Venture to the west and you will come across the historic Inner Hebridean Isles. Here you will find the Island of Skye and Arran. Crashing, salty waves, powerful unforgiving winds and dark peaty earth give the islands whisky their distinct taste and appearance. Darker in appearance and a lot more smokey, these whiskies pack an unforgettable punch, full of flavour and character.
Despite the highlands being the most famous Scottish whisky region, it is actually the Speyside region that is the heart of Scottish whisky distilling. Over half of the malt whisky produced in Scotland can be traced back to the Speyside region. Feeding from the River Spey which winds through its rich land, the distilleries produce a whisky that is instantly recognisable by its fruity, warm, honey vanilla character.
Islay, although technically an Island, has it's own region in scotch whisky terms. Known for it's peaty style, some of the most popular whiskies in the world are from Islay including Lagavulin and Laphroaig.
Can you tell which whiskies come from which region? Why not test yourself to a blind tasting and see how many you get right!