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    【Whisky 101】Six Scotch Whisky Regions | Watson's Wine

    【Whisky 101】Six Scotch Whisky Regions

    Whisky

    In recent years, whisky is gaining great popularity among drinkers, especially Scotch whisky like Macallan, Johnnie Walker and Ballantine’s. In fact, the production of Scotch whisky can be divided geographically into 6 regions, in completely different styles. Among the 6 regions, which one do you like most?

    What is Scotch Whisky?

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    Credit to:Wineware

    To be labelled as Scotch Whiskies, they must be distilled and bottled in Scotland. At the same time, Scotch Whisky have to be made from malted barley or grain with the spirit aged in oak casks no bigger than 700 litres for no less than three years. Scotland is home to over 130 malt and grain distilleries, located in 6 main whisky regions: Highlands, Speyside, Lowlands, Campbeltown, Islay and Islands, and all produce whiskies with different characters.

    1.Speyside Whisky Region: Beginner’s Choice with Floral Aromas

    Speyside is the region with the highest density of whisky distilleries in the world. It is famous for having a fertile valley of rivers, especially the River Spey. Speyside whiskies are known for being frugal with peat, and full of fruity and floral aromas. Because of its sweet, soft style, Speyside tends to be a good choice for beginners to start their Whisky adventure! Many world’s most famous whiskies such as The Macallan, The Singleton, Glenfiddich and The Glenlivet are produced in Speyside.

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    2. Highlands Whisky Region: Diverse Character

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    Highlands is Scotland’s largest whisky producing area, so whisky in the Highlands is very diverse and offers a vast amount of different flavours. For example, whiskies in the North are full-bodied with sweet and rich character, and Glenmorangie is one of the most recognisable labels. Sherry-matured character whiskies with aromas of dried fruit and chocolate are commonly found in the east, with aromas of dried fruit, such as Glendronach.

    3. Lowlands Scotch Whisky: Light and Gentle

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    As the second biggest whisky region in Scotland, Lowlands currently has only 3 distilleries that are still operating.  Whiskies in Lowlands are usually light and gentle with no peatiness, which are great entry-level whiskies. It is worth to mention that Glenkinchie in Lowlands owns the largest wash still in Scotland, you may have a try on its elegant and floral whisky.

    4. Campbelltown Scotch Whisky: Inspired the Making of Japanese Nikka Whisky

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    Campbeltown was once a world centre of whisky, even Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka and father of Japanese whisky, had travelled there to study the art of whisky-making. However, it’s now home to just 3 distilleries. Since Campbeltown is a seaside region, it is known for its dryness and sometimes pungency taste.

    5.Islay Whisky Region: Heavy with peat

    During the distillation process of Scottish whiskies, peat fires were commonly used to dry the malted barley and stop the malting process, resulting in typical flavours of ash and smoke in peated whiskies.  If you like peated whiskies, then you may love whiskies produced in Islay. Its single malt whisky has heavy smoky, peaty style. Famous brands include Ardbeg and Laphroaig.

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    6.Island Whisky Region: Maritime and Smoky Character

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    Island whiskies are whiskies produced on any island of Scotland outside of Islay. With a maritime character, Island whiskies are not as smoky as most Islay whiskies,

    famous brands include Highland Park and Talisker. Highland Park produces fabulously rich, layered whiskies with smoky flavour and heather-honey sweetness; while Talisker whiskies are embodied with sea salt, sweet peat, smoky notes, it is often named as “The King of Spirits”.

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