Updated: Mar 9
Scottish whisky, also known as Scotch, is a beloved spirit that has been produced for centuries. The process of making Scotch is steeped in tradition and has become an important part of Scottish culture. One of the most popular regions for producing Scotch is the Highlands of Scotland, which is known for its rugged landscape, pristine rivers, and pure water sources. In this blog, we will focus on the history and unique characteristics of Highland Scotch..
The Highland region is one of the largest and most diverse in Scotland, covering an area that stretches from the north of Glasgow all the way to the northernmost tip of the mainland. This region is home to over 30 distilleries, many of which are located in remote and picturesque locations. The Highland region is also home to the highest peak in the British Isles, Ben Nevis, which stands at 1,345 meters tall.
Highland Scotch is known for its robust and complex flavor profile, which is often attributed to the region's unique climate and geography. The rugged terrain and harsh weather conditions in the Highlands have helped shape the character of Highland Scotch, making it a true reflection of the land where it is produced.
One of the key factors that contribute to the flavor of Highland Scotch is the water source. Many of the distilleries in the Highlands use water that is sourced from mountain springs and streams. This water is naturally filtered through layers of rock and peat, which impart a distinct mineral character to the whisky. Water also plays a crucial role in the production process, as it is used to dilute the spirit and control the alcohol content.
Another important factor in the production of Highland Scotch is the use of peat smoke to dry the malted barley. Peat is a type of soil that is found in many parts of Scotland, and when it is burned, it produces a distinctive smoky flavor that is often associated with Scotch whisky. The peat smoke gives Highland Scotch a unique flavor that is often described as earthy, smoky, and slightly sweet.
One of the most well-known distilleries in the Highlands is Glenmorangie, which is located in Tain, Ross-shire. This distillery has been producing whisky for over 170 years and is known for its light and floral flavor profile. The whisky produced at Glenmorangie is matured in a range of different casks, including ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and ex-port casks, which impart different flavors and aromas to the whisky.
Another popular Highland distillery is Dalwhinnie, which is located in the Cairngorms National Park. Dalwhinnie is known for its smooth and mellow flavor.