Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Scotch regions and their unique flavors


Scotch, as we already know, is produced in Scotland.  However, the whisky is not made throughout the country; rather it is produced only in certain regions.  There are five primary (some argue six) scotch whisky production regions, namely: Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Campbeltown and Islay.  There is also "Islands", which comprise all of the whisky producing islands in Scotland except Islay.  The Islands is typically considered as part of the Highland district, but with its unique offerings, some argue that it deserves recognition as its own region. 

Although each whisky made at different distilleries is unique, the malts produced in each region have some common characteristics that separate them from scotch from other regions.

Highland
The Highlands is the largest of the whisky producing regions in Scotland and generally produces more full-bodies whiskies with deeper notes of peat and smoke.  Due to the vastity of the region, Highland whiskies often taste very different from each other, from the extreme heathery, spicy character of Northern Highlands to the fruity whiskies of the Southern Highlands.

Famous distilleries: Oban, Glenmorangie, Dalmore.

Lowland
There are only three operating distilleries remaining in the Lowlands.  Lowlands is located at the southernmost part of Scotland, and is a flat region with no mountains.  Scotch from this region are generally considered as the most light bodied of the Single Malts.

Famous (remaining) distilleries: Glenkinchie, Bladnoch, Auchentoshan

Speyside
Speyside, the undisputed center for whisky in Scotland, boasts the highest concentration of distilleries (more than half the distilleries in Scotland are located in Speyside).  Although the Speyside region is geographically part of the Highlands, it is considered a separate region because of its unique characteristics.  The region received its name from the river Spey, which cuts through the area.  Many of the distilleries use water straight from the river Spey in their production process.  Speyside scotch are thought to be the country's most complex, and is known for their sweetness and elegant flavors and aromas. 

Famous distilleries: Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Macallan, and blends like Johnnie Walker and Chivas Regal.

Campbeltown
Once the whisky capital of Scotland, there are only three distilleries remaining in Campbeltown.  The Scotch here is peaty, and has a salty hint and a briny character. 

Famous (remaining) distilleries: Glen Scotia, Glengyle, Springbank.

Islay
Pronunced "eye-luh", Islay scotch is considered to be the smokiest and strongest-flavored (some say it tastes of the sea) of the single malts.  Their strong flavor is believed to be due to the region's exposure to the high winds and seas of the west coast

Famous distilleries: Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Bowmore, Ardbeg.

Island
Though not considered by all as a region of its own, scotch from the Islands can be described as a milder version of Islay whisky (sort of like a hybrid between Highland and Islay whiskies). 

Famous distilleries: Highland Park, Talisker.

52 comments:

  1. Good Info man I really didnt know all that about Scotland

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  2. Very interesting, I'd love to have a scotch after reading this :)

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  3. very interesting, you made me buy some scotch when i went grocery shopping today

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  4. Wow, I had no idea about this. Got me craving scotch now on a Tuesday night!

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  5. Good info, its nice to know about the background and culture of the drink.

    Also, if you could shoot me a msg about linkbucks? idk how to work that, when i clicked on your profile it had that banner, thanks!

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  6. Which do you find produces the best tasting scotch?

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  7. Thats yummy!

    tehhappyplace.blogspot.com

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  8. nice blog! Good stuff!!!
    http://jdmallstars.blogspot.com/

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  9. Glenfiddich, ardbeg are a couple nice ones. good post

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  10. You caught my attention with Scotch. This truly is a manly blog man. Following and supporting!

    http://cmipigeon.blogspot.com

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  11. nice to see the background behind the scotch

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  12. I didn't know so much about wiskey! I could go for some whiskey right now :)

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  13. Drinking some right now brah!

    http://mrangrie.blogspot.com/

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  14. Going to have to pick me up some Scotch in the near future. Followed.

    http://retoricrants.blogspot.com/

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  15. hey guy! thanks for the follow, i didnt realize until just now though lol you shoulda posted your link or something :P

    a like so:
    http://lifeofbaron.blogspot.com

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  16. yo!
    cool blog!!
    keep it up!

    you follow me: http://all-around-toto.blogspot.com
    and I will return the favor ;)

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  17. Nice blog....I love me some scotch....for Islay try out McLelland....cheap and very smooth

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  18. I will take 3 fingers of your finest highland peat juice please.

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  19. you sir, have fine tastes. awesome stuff. anyone that follows me let me know with a comment and ill follow back

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  20. This is an interesting blog. Following!

    Follow me if you haven't already guys.
    http://simplykidleo.blogspot.com/

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  21. After reading this post I'd like a nice bottle of Lowland scotch to keep me company.

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  22. God, I just love your passion for Scotch. That's hardcore.

    http://steppedkeys.blogspot.com/

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  23. Good idea with the db lunges on my blog...and great info there

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  24. Well now, this is good to know! I'll keep it in mind when we visit Scotland ;) Thanks for stopping by my blog, I like yours, following! :D

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  25. How do you find your knowledge of the various scotches changes your enjoyment of them? Do you find you have a prejudice against cheaper or less well received scotches, that you might otherwise have enjoyed?

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  26. Scotch from scotland... Durrrrrr I never knew :p

    brotosterone.blogspot.com

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  27. More of a whiskey man myself but good blog is good blog.

    hopefulmarine.blogspot.com

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  28. very nice post. following bro

    numberrumbler.blogspot.com

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  29. when i first saw your blog, i didn't think you would be able to update so much with quality information. I'm amazed at how much there is to know about scotch.. and how much you do know about it. interesting stuff brah. keep it up

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  30. sorry about that (haha). i'll make sure to put "NSFW" next time i post material that is NSFW

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  31. love this blog, good read. I have something to talk about at the bar now.

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  32. Nice blog. Time to get some scotch.


    Check out my blog.....Follow/Comment Thanks.

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  33. Islay all the way. Bowmore for value, Lagavulin for pungency and a new one Caol Ila for a nice peppery highlight.

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  34. Good info. I only had actually known about the Highland production, so that's pretty cool. Thanks.

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  35. interesting post, followin you

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  36. great info

    http://funnyfunnyfinds.blogspot.com/

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  37. can someone import scotch into the U.S.?

    just askin'

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  38. I've never had Scotch, but I like trying different things. It wasn't too long ago that I started figuring out that butterscotch probably originated from scotch, just like butter rum came from rum. :)

    I follow all who follow me.
    toastburnt.blogspot.com

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  39. Awesome man, love the scotch passion

    follow me brahs!

    http://politicalskies.blogspot.com/

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  40. Following you bro, nice blog can never get enough booze

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  41. you have a really cool blog man. followed

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  42. Fantastic post, good sir - using this for future reference.

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  43. This really does help me understand that there IS a method of organization to the madness of Scotch.

    I follow and support those who do likewise.
    toastburnt.blogspot.com

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  44. Johnnie Walker I AM.

    GREGORY CHANDLER

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