Malt Whisky is Made
There are discernable differences
between whiskies made in one region and those made in another. Traditionally there
were four distilling regions: Lowland, Highland, Islay and Campbeltown. Sometimes
the latter two were lumped together, and some early writers refer simply to 'Eastern'
and 'Western' malts!
The important region of 'Speyside'
is a modern sub-division of Highland. Prior to World War II many of the distilleries
in this area adopted the appellation 'Glenlivet' (which is a small glen on Speyside)
- by tagging it onto the distillery name. The whiskies of Glenlivet had established
a reputation by the 18th century - even though they were made outside the law!
Today over half of Scotland's malt whisky
distilleries are on Speyside, and as a result the region itself has been carved
up by commentators, either according to the rivers running through it or by its
principle districts. The latter course has been adapted and the whiskies made
in or around Elgin, the Upper Spey, Dufftown and Glenrothes, will be considered
as well as Glenlivet itself.
In recent times, 'Highland'
has been further broken down by broad geographical district: North, East, West
It is impossible to be categoric about
the flavour characteristics associated with each region - especially when the
wood the whisky has been matured in makes such a huge contribution. Nevertheless,
there are certain salient features which will be identified in this journey around
the whisky regions of Scotland.