Firstly, Speyside means to the side of the Spey which is the fastest flowing river in Scotland and the second largest river in Scotland. The river is fed from the Highland mountains and the mouth of the river Spey is on the North East coast of Scotland. The river is famous for 2 reasons, one is whisky production and the other is another great Scottish Export, Salmon. Salmon fishing here is coveted by fishermen the world over, in particular fly-fishermen where a double handed fly cast is named after the river ‘the Spey Cast’.
This is a region of the Highlands and is mostly situated in Morayshire. Speyside is not included in the Highlands and has its own category due to the scale of scotch production and the similar style of the whiskies. There is much disagreement among whisky experts and commentators as to which are Highland and which are Speyside.
Speyside region produces more whisky than any other and the 50 or so distilleries are in a concentrated geographical area. The production here is so large it accounts for over 60% of all whisky production in Scotland. Speyside also continues to expand with Scotland’s bestselling single malt whisky ‘Glenfiddich’ producing 10 million litres of alcohol per annum. Diageo are currently opening another in Speyside called Roseisle and Glenlivit is being expanded and both will have the 10 million litre capacity.
Due to the vast number of scotch distilleries in this region it is very difficult to give an accurate description of the taste, nose or style of whiskies from this area. In broad terms, the whisky here is not heavily peated like scotch produced in Islay for example, however there are exceptions. The whisky from this area can be sweet, rich from Sherry Casks like Macallan or lighter tastes such as Glenlivet.
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