Whisky Regions


Scotland is home to five official whisky-producing regions each with its own distinct characteristics. Often there is an unofficial sixth classification included as a subregion of the Highlands; The Islands. With over 140 active distilleries, Scotland is a hub of whisky production.


Islay is renowned for producing strongly “peated” whiskies. With nine operational distilleries, it is the most famous Whisky-producing island in Scotland. islay is renowned for producing strongly “peated” whiskies. With eight operational distilleries, it is the most famous Whisky-producing island in Scotland.


Campbeltown whiskies are characterised by their robust and smoky profiles. Located on the west coast of Scotland, Campbeltown, like the Lowlands, has experienced a decline in Whisky production and now hosts only a few active distilleries.


Whiskies from the Islands exhibit great variation and often have a slightly smokier flavour compared to other regions. This region is home to a small number of distilleries.


The Highland region offers the most diverse range of flavours, including those influenced by the surrounding islands. Geographically the largest region, it can be found to the north of Glasgow and Edinburgh.


The Lowlands region produces lighter whiskies. Although it once led the Whisky industry, the number of distilleries in this area has significantly declined over the years. The Lowlands encompasses the area between Glasgow and Edinburgh and extends southward.


Speyside distilleries are known for their use of Sherry casks, resulting in a fruitier taste. This region boasts the highest concentration of distilleries in Scotland, with over 40 operating in Speyside.


American whiskey has stood the test of time, surviving civil wars and prohibition. The country is now well known for their love of the drink, playing host to over 2000 distilleries, housing one in at least every state. The country’s most notable production however is their renowned Bourbon and Kentucky whiskey, which is produced in only two of the fifty states.


Tennessee has long been a leader in the production of distilled spirits, inheriting their distillation skills from their western ancestors who travelled over from Ireland and Scotland in the 1600s.


Kentucky is the home to the world-famous Kentucky Bourbon whiskey and has been the sole producer of it for the past 200 years. Bourbon is chiefly made with 51% corn with the addition of other grains.


Ireland is thought to be the country of origin for whiskey, or ‘Usige Beathe’ as it’s known in Gaelic, with the first record of distillation dating back to the 1400s. The oldest licenced distillery in the world is the Bushmills distillery in Northern Ireland, which dates back to 1608. There are currently only 31 active distilleries in Ireland, but that doesn’t stop their export numbers which are currently at their highest-ever level.


Japan’s first distillery opened in the 1920s, with the introduction of the art of Scottish whisky distillation coming to their shores. In the years since, Japan has become increasingly popular amongst enthusiasts, has won several awards at the world whisky awards and has firmly solidified its position as a stand-out name in producing high-quality whisky.