Whisky is classified, like wine, according to its region. The main regions of Scottish whiskies are:
- Highlands (subdivided in northern, eastern western ans southern highlands). Its the biggest region in size but not necessarily in whiskies. Highlands whiskies will typically have a more heathery honey character. Typical whiskies are Highland Park, Glenmorangie, Dalmore etc.
1.1. Southern (Central) Highlands havve lighter, florally, fruitier and drier whiskies. Whiskies like Edradour, Dalwhinnie and Aberfeldy.
1.2. Western Highlands have whiskies like Tallisker, Oban and Jura. Typical characteristics are smokey-peppery.
1.3. Eastern Highlands like Glendronach, Knockdhu and Fettercairn. Typical characteristics are malty, smokey, fudge-butterscotch.
1.4. Northern Highlands like Glenmorangie, Scapa and Highland Park, Dalmore, Pulteney. Typical characteristics are light bodied, complex aromas, sometimes spicy, even a bit peaty.
- Lowlands whiskies have a distinctive grassy, floral, fresh character and are lighter than the other regions’ whiskies, unpeated. Typical whiskies are Rosebank (now closed), Glenkinchie, Auchentoshan and Ladyburn. These whiskies are often used in blends.
- Speyside has the most distilleries and is concentrated around the river Spey. Typical characteristic of Speyside whiskies are honey, fruits (apple, pears, apricots, citrus) with also a spicy character to it. Sweet with litty peat. Typical Speyside whiskies are Glen Elgin, Cragganmore, Glenfiddich, Glengrant, Strathisla.
- Islands & Skye (because of Islay’s distinctive and robust character, sometimes classified as a region on its own). The main characteristic of this region is peaty and sea-salty (maritime). Often called whiskies not for the faint-hearted, because of its strong peaty and smokiness. Typical Islay whisies are Talisker, Caol Ila, Lagavullin and Ardbeg, know as the whisky with the highest amount of peat.
- Campbeltown more know for the illicit distilleries of the past and probably some of the first distilleries; now only 2 are left, Springbank and Glen Scotia. Typical characteristics are full-bodied, with a hint of sea salt.