Speyside is a ‘subregion’ of the Scottish Highlands. Named as such due to the large number of Scotch whisky distilleries in a comparatively small area. In fact, there are 84 working distilleries in Speyside, including the world’s most famous and popular: The Macallan. From this region, the style of whisky produced has altered significantly over time. Thus there are a wide range of whiskies displaying different characters that are available to enjoy.
speyside distillery map
A traditional Speyside single malt whisky would not be dissimilar to a Highland whisky, with a robust character and hints of the well known peated flavour. However in recent times, expressions have become lighter and sweeter, lacking the peaty punch of the Islay and Highland Drams. Due to Speysides location and low mineral content in the water, the whiskies are normally very low in peat, if not totally unpeated. There are certainly no definitive rules as to the characteristics of Speyside whisky. Especially as age often brings increased body and most are matured in either ex-bourbon or ex-sherry casks, which adds a lot of strong flavours.
It can definitely be said that Speyside whiskies are subtle and for this reason tend to be a great ‘entry level whisky’ for those beginning to discover their tastes when it comes to drinking single malts. We certainly believe that there’s a dram for everyone in Speyside!