These are, generally speaking, the whiskies produced in the southern
half of the country, below the Highland Line that runs between the
Clyde in the centre of Scotland. These whiskies are mellower and gentler
than their northern neighbours, and much of their produce ends up in
blends. Ironically, their subtleties of taste are appreciated by both
newcomers to malts and by more experienced malt drinkers.
most famous whisky town and home to more than 20 distilleries in the
19th century. Their number has dwindled to two, only one of which is
currently operating. Its whiskies are more distinctive than those of the
with peat lending more of a hint of the flavours of
to the north.
The most distinctively flavoured of all whiskies come from this island,
where the apparently endless supplies of peat are put to use in the malt
kilns. The resulting 'peat reek' gives the island whiskies a smell and
taste that has variously been described as 'iodine', 'seawater' and even
malts are undoubtedly an acquired taste, and their presence adds instant
depth of character to a blend. (Incidentally, the name is pronounced
An enormous area which is home to some of the world's most famous drinks
names, as well as others that are worth taking the time to discover. In
Speyside alone are more than 40 distilleries with names recognisable
from any supermarket and liquor-store shelf. This is also the place to
come if you want to visit lots of distilleries: several in the Spey
valley are on the Whisky Trail and open to visitors. Varieties of whisky
produced here range from mellow and sweet to aromatic and flowery, with
every shade of flavour between.
Strictly speaking an area of Highland, this is a sub-grouping based on
geography rather than flavour characteristics. From Arran, Jura, Mull
and Skye in the west to Orkney in the north, the whisky flavours here
are as wide-ranging as any in the Highland group.