The Five Regions of Scotch Whiskey
While several modern whiskey decanter set designs are available on the market, many people prefer the old classic sets. Without a doubt, Scotch whiskey is one of the most popular beverages around the world. With several subcategories of the brand of whiskey, here are some essential points to note about Scotch Whiskey.
What Characterizes Scotch Whiskey
Scotch whiskey has been around for several decades and has grown popular across the world within this timeframe. However, what characterizes scotch whiskey is the manufacturing process. To ensure that this process is not compromised, the European Union and relevant authorities in Scotland only recognize whiskey produced under the slated conditions as scotch whiskey. These production regulations are strictly regulated to distinguish the real thing from counterfeits effectively.
The stated requirements for the production of scotch whiskey include:
- Scotch Whiskey should be produced using water, malted barley, and only whole cereal grains.
- The whiskey is to be distilled at no higher than 98% by volume of alcohol.
- All fermentation and distillation processes should occur at the same location within Scotland.
- Only caramel coloring and water can be used as additives in the manufacturing process.
- The Scotch must be aged in oak casks at a licensed excise warehouse within Scotland. This aging process should take a minimum of three years, and oak cask should not be more than 700 liters in volume.
However, apart from these regulations, Scotch whiskey is also characterized by unique tastes and aroma. These flavors often depend on manufacturers’ production styles and the geographical resources available within the regions of production. Scotland can be majorly classified into five regions, each with its own uniqueness.
This region is named after the Spey River. The Speyside region is popular for producing honeyed Scotch. Although the production process is seeming complicated, the region is popular for producing a balanced type of malt scotch. Speyside Scotch is revered in several areas around the world and without a doubt deserves a place in your home bar well presented with a premium whiskey decanter set. The region currently has the highest number of whiskey distilleries among all five regions.
In terms of land area, the highlands are the largest in Scotland. This large landmass leads to an existing diversity of Scotch, even within the highlands. However, most of the whiskey in the region has a sweet and smooth finish. The Highlands can be subdivided into the Central Highlands, the Western Highlands, the Northern Highlands, and the Eastern Highlands. Some of the famous whiskey producers within this region include Dalmore, Glenmorangie, Talisker, etc.
The Lowlands have much lesser distilleries than the Speyside and the Highlands. However, the Scotch produced in this region is distinct. The Scotch is triple-distilled, making it much subtle than typical whiskey. Most of the whiskey produced in the region are light on their feet and would be fantastic for a pre-dinner treat.
This island is located on the southeastern coast of Scotland, directed towards Ireland. The most notable trait of whiskey from this region is the wide variety of fruity flavors offered due to the high concentration of peat on the island. Some of the popular scotch producers in the region include; Ardbeg, Lagavulin, etc.
This region covers the peninsula of Kintyre, which is just on the edge of the western highlands. The region used to be reputed for producing the most Scotch housing over thirty distilleries. However, the region is now known for single malts and a few specialized flavors of whiskey.
In conclusion, irrespective of your preferred region and the type of drink produced in the region, all these regions, without a doubt, produce only premium quality Scotch whiskey, which is now renowned around the world. This is why you are sure to find premium Scotch drink on a bar shelf or in a classic decanter somewhere around, irrespective of where you go. However, you should also be careful to ensure that you are getting the real thing as there are several counterfeit products and imitations on the market despite the strict regulations.