Scotch whisky is the term given to whisky that is produced in Scotland. However, the whisky is not made through the place; rather it is produced only in certain regions of Scotland. In fact, Scotch whiskies are categorized on the basis of region in which they are made. The main regions in Scotland, in which Scotch whisky is made, include the Lowlands, the Highlands, Campbeltown and the island of Islay. All of them have their origins in the regulation of licenses and duties. Read on to know more about Scotch whiskey producing regions.
Scotch Whisky Regions
The whiskies which are from the Lowlands are known for their softness. They are unlike the highland whiskies, which have proportions of peatiness in them. The Lowlands basically have old county boundaries, running from the Clyde estuary to the River Tay, and follow the olden trends. In the Lowlands, only three distilleries remain in operation, including Auchentoshan, Bladnoch, and Glenkinchie.
The Highlands, Islands
The Highlands are biggest of all the regions producing Scotch and encompass a wide variety of whiskies. There are only a few distilleries which are spread in the western part of the highland and so, the whiskies which are there in this region are difficult to categorize. The common element in the whiskies produced in this region is their round, firm, dry character, with some peatiness.
The northern highlands whiskies have a heathery, spicy character to them, which they derive from the local soil and the coastal location of the distilleries. The eastern highlands and the Midlands, popularly known as the south highlands, have a variety of fruity whiskies. Some Highland distilleries are Dalmore, Dalwhinnie, Balblair, Old Pulteney, Glenmorangie, Oban, and Aberfeldy.
Speyside is commonly agreed to extend at least from the River Findhorn in the west to the Deveron in the east. The Speyside single malts are noted, in general, for their elegance, complexity and, often, a refined smokiness. Within Speyside, the River Livet is so famous that its name is borrowed by some whiskies from far beyond its glen. Speyside has the largest number of distilleries, which include Aberlour, Balvenie, Glenfiddich, Speyburn, The Glenlivet and The Macallan.
Campbeltown is on the peninsular region on the west coast of Scotland. It once flaunted 30 distilleries, but now, has been reduced to a meager 2 distilleries. One of these, Springbank, produces two different single malts. This apparent contradiction is achieved by the use of lightly peated malt in one and a smokier kilning in the other. Campbeltown single malts, on the other hand, are distinctive in nature, with a briny character.
Pronounced "eye-luh", this is the greatest of all whisky islands: much of it deep with peat, lashed by the wind, rain and sea in the Inner Hebrides. It has eight distilleries, although all are not working. The whiskies produced here have a seaweedy, iodine-like, phenolic character. A dash of Islay malt gives the instantly recognizable tang of Scotland to many blended whiskies.