There are five Scotch Whisky regions in Scotland – Highland, Islay, Lowland, Speyside and Campbeltown. Each offers a different perspective on Scotch Whisky and has a different flavour profile.
If you are struggling with which scotch to try next, check out the flavour profiles below and see which tickles your fancy.
what are the 5 regions of scotch
By far the largest region in Scotland, covering the entire mainland north of the Highland-Lowland line. Because the Highlands covers such a large area, the region is divided into smaller territories based on the compass direction. Speyside is considered the fifth, and it’s own region.
Scotches suitable for any palate, from lighter whiskies to salty malts.
Old Pulteney Huddart
A particularly smoky dram release in mid-2018. The bootle is named after the street on which the distillery resides.
Pronounced ‘eye-luh’. Consider the island for whisky, Islay is located southwest of Scotland. Islay whisky is famous for its intense, heavily peated drams. Many have also described the aroma as medicinal, featuring notes of iodine, salt and seaweed. Islay has a population of about 3,000, the majority of whom work in the distilleries and the necessary industries (such as the growing and cultivation of the peat).
Fiery, heavily peated whiskies. Not for the faint of heart.
Extending over the entire south of the mainland, as its name suggests the landscape is much flatter than the Highlands. To this day, scotch produced here is related to Irish Whiskey in terms of production and taste. Meaning they are typically triple distilled, giving them a lighter character.
Soft, smooth and gentle. Grass, honeysuckle, cream, ginger, toffee, toast and cinnamon flavours.
The flagship expression from the Glenkinchie distillery, with lightness and grassy flavours.
Florals, chocolate, and spices in this no age- statement from the Bladnoch distillery.
Speyside has the greatest concentration of distilleries in Scotland in an area no larger than 15 miles wide! Named after the river Spey, which is also the water source for many distilleries located there. Considered to be delicate and fragrant, Speyside whisky are very suitable for beginners. This is because they are less complex, meaning less smoke than the scotches from the other regions, espcially Islay.
Low on peat and full of fruit. Speyside Scotch is usually matured in sherry casks and gives apple, pear, honey, vanilla and spice flavours.
Once considered the Whisky capital of the world, in its heyday during the early 1800s, Campbeltown was home to over 30 active distilleries. Due to the poor economic developments in the region (some blame the introduction of prohibition in the US decimating the export market), the number of active distilleries was reduced over the decades to sadly just two: Glen Scotia and Springbank.
Varied and full of flavour. Salt, smoke, vanilla, fruit and toffee flavours.
Glen Scotia Double CasK
This single malt is finished in a combination of first-fill bourbon barrels and Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks.
Lightly peated and non-chill filtered. Oak notes, velvety smooth finish.
Matured in bourbon and sherry casks adds a slightly peated, wonderful depth of flavour.