The Highlands are what people traditionally think of when they imagine Scotland – moors, lochs, castles, stags at bay. As far as whiskey lines are drawn, the Highlands are everything north of the Highland Line, which isn’t Speyside. Here, the distilleries are rich with folk wisdom and technology combined, strengthened by a thrawn refusal to conform. The Highlands are multi-faceted environment that gives a wide range of whisky styles.
The southern Highlands are near the northern suburbs of Glasgow but this does not influence the identities of the distilleries, which retain their own characters. The central Highlands is where distilleries once thrived in a large cluster around central Perthshire. Today only a few survive because of the demand for quality and individuality. The eastern Highlands are a fertile but relatively sparsely populated area. It is a place of complex and surprising whiskies, where you can find profiles which are both smoky and fragrant. The northern highlands are home to the stretches of forgotten coast and is home to some of largest malt brands. Despite this, the majority of the malts here remain less well-known, the area boasts some of the most individualistic distilleries where the ideas of aroma, texture, and flavor are pushed to extremes. The western Highlands are considered the smallest whiskey region and reaches across the western coastline. It has only two distilleries which survive due to wonderful transport links, individual personality, and a belief in an older way of making whiskey.