As Scotland’s national drink and biggest export, whisky is a strong part of Scottish culture. With distilleries scattered all across the country, the majority of the world’s most famous whiskies are produced here and shipped all across the globe. The distilleries here are scattered across five main regions. Each region is known for producing whiskies of specific flavours and tastes. As World Whisky Day is just around the corner, we’re taking a closer look at the Scottish regions which provide the world with the finest whiskies.
The Highlands is geographically the largest whisky-producing region in Scotland. With close to 50 distilleries, the Highlands offer a diverse array of whiskies to satisfy every taste; sweet, fruity and even spicy! Some of the most renowned distilleries in the country can be found here, including The Glenturret Distilery, the Highlands’ oldest and most popular, as well as The Isle of Arran Distillery, Loch Lomond, Glengoyne, and Royal Lochnagar.
As home to more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries, Speyside is Scotland’s most popular whisky region. Visitors from all across the world visit Speyside specifically for the famous Speyside Malt Whisky Trail – the only trail of its kind in the world. The whiskies here are well known for their sweetness, with rich sherry flavoured malts, although others have a slight whiff of smokiness too. Some of Speyside’s most famous distilleries include: The Glenlivet Distillery, Speyside Cooperage and Glenfiddich Distillery.
Located in the Inner Hebrides, the beautiful island of Islay is home to 9 active distilleries. It’s thought that Irish monks may have been the first to distil whisky on the island in the early 1300s. The island produces whiskies with the strongest flavour, particularly dry and smoky. Some also have a slight salty flavour due to the maritime climate of the island. Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg are the three most famous brands to come from Islay.
The Lowlands cover Scotland’s southern land, covering central territory like Glasgow and Edinburgh. When compared to other Scottish whiskies, Lowland whiskies are the most light-bodied. Malts produced in this region have earned themselves the collective nickname of the ‘Lowland Ladies’ due to their sweet and floral notes. There’s a total of 18 distilleries here, including Bladnoch, Auchentoshan, the oldest distillery, and Glenkinchie.
As Scotland’s smallest whisky region, Campbeltown now counts 3 distilleries. In past days, over 30 distilleries were located in Campbeltown. However, the remaining distilleries produce unique and fine malts that are loved and enjoyed around the world. The oldest distillery in Campbeltown remains its most popular, the Springbank Distillery. The Springback distillery is known for the distinct smoky and salty flavours. The Glen Scotia Distillery is also one of the last distilleries in Campbeltown and produces a lighter malt, with grassy notes.
Best of Scotland Holidays arrange many packages which revolve all around whisky. From Whiskies of the West to the Whisky Tasting Tour, we’ve a package which allows visitors to sample and learn about the finest whiskies in Scotland. You can check out all our food and drink packages here.