Scotch Whisky Regions
Scotch whisky is world renowned so it's important to distinguish the difference, every region has a whisky powerhouse that can be found in most bars around the World. According to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), Scotland was divided into five regions: Highlands, Lowlands, Campbeltown, Speyside, and Islay. The Islands was recognised as a distinct region by the SWA, but  some books do so.

The Lowland region of malt whisky production lies south of the theoretical line between Greenock and Dundee, which separates the Highlands from the Lowlands. History has not been kind to the area, and today only Auchentoshan, near Glasgow, Bladnoch in the far west of Galloway, and Glenkinchie, south of Edinburgh, survive, along with a small-scale, farm-based distillery at Daft Mill in Fife, which gave new impetus to the classification when it opened during 2005.

Stylistically, Lowlands tend to be comparatively light-bodied, aperitif whiskies, noted for their delicacy and soft, grassy aromas and flavours.

The Highlands is by far the largest of all the whisky producing regions and offers you the greatest variations of style. On the mainland in the Western Highlands there are only a few distilleries. The malts from these West Highland distilleries are much less peaty than the malts which are found  in the Islay region, although you can detect a slight whiff of smokiness. If there was a common character shared by West Highland whiskies it is they tend to have a sweet start and dryish finish.

The character of the far North Highland malts are greatly influenced by the local soil and the coastal location of the distilleries. They tend to be light bodied whiskies with a spicy character and a dryish finish, sometimes with a trace of saltiness.

Malt whiskies from the Central, Southern and Eastern  Highlands are quite a mixed bunch. They are generally fruity and sweet but not as sweet as the malts found in Speyside. They are lighter bodied and sweet and just like other Highland malts they tend to have a dry finish.

This often forgotten region on the Mull of Kintyre peninsula was once one of Scotland's distilling heartlands with over 25 operational distilleries. Sadly many closed in the 1920s due to over production, depression and prohibition in the USA. Thankfully one of Scotland great distilleries survived: Springbank. Today Springbank, new sister distillery Glengyle and neighbouring Glen Scotia produce some of Scotland most old-style, personality rich malts. The Campbeltown style can be described as very coastal driven with farmy qualities, distinct peatiness and elegant fruit complexities.

The region of Speyside is located in the north east of Scotland surrounding the River Spey, it's seen to be more of a sub-region to the neighbouring Highlands because of the high density of distilleries in the area. It's home to highest number of distilleries in Scotland with well over 60 at present.

Speyside is known for its sweet single malts with either very little peat or absolutely no peat present at all. Some of the World's most famous whiskies are produced in Speyside, Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Glen Grant and The Macallan are world renowned scotch whiskies.

Considered the heavy-hitters of Scotch whisky, these spirits are usually heavily peated, often oily and even sometimes compared to iodine. Islay is home to a current eight distilleries which include Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavulin and Laphroaig.

Scotch produced on the islands surrounding the mainland of Scotland offer a very diverse and different taste, they're not however recognised by the Scotch Whisky Association but are easily grouped together for geographic reasons as one as they're all islands.Orkney has 2 whisky distilleries, Scapa and Highland Park, Lewis & Harris is home to Abhainn Dearg, Talisker is located on Skye, Tobermory on Mull with Jura and Arran located on thier namesake islands. Although diverse in flavours, peat and salinity are found in all of the Islands whiskies, the latter because of the vicinity to the sea.

Typical Islands whiskies flavours: Smoke, Brine, Oil, Black Pepper and Honey.