As a Scotch lover, you probably have a certain go-to brand that you gravitate towards. Whether it was the first Scotch you tried, the first one you actually liked or a recommendation from a friend that turned into your favorite, we all have an old faithful.
Having a dependable Scotch is great, but it can also put us into a rut. There are so many Scotches out there, ready to be sipped, and they’re easier to explore than you realize. The key is finding what region matches up with your palate.
Distinctive characteristics of the region: Scotches from The Highlands are often lighter whiskies with notes of fruit. The lighter finish of these Scotches makes them an approachable introduction into the Scotch whisky category. Perfect for Scotch new-comers.
What to try: With a moderately sweet taste, notes of peaches pears and a clean finish, Glenmorangie 10 Year is a great example of what The Highland region has to offer.
Distinctive characteristics of the region: Speyside houses the most distilleries and is the largest of the four regions. Because of this, Speyside produces a multitude of different styles from complex, yet smooth to downright delicate. If you like to switch things up, Speyside is your region.
What to try: The Glenlivet 12 Year is one of today’s most popular Scotches and for good reason. With a soft, smooth texture and lingering but gentle finish, The Glenlivet shows off Speyside’s gentle side.
Distinctive characteristics of the region: Lowland Scotches are known to have grassy and citrus flavors, a light body and dry finish.
What to try: Auchentoshan American Oak’s profile of sweet vanilla cream, a hint of fresh green apple, mint and florals perfectly captures the Lowland’s reputation for light, grassy Scotches.
Distinctive characteristics of the region: Islay is by far the most distinctive of the four regions thanks to its maritime roots and influences. If you’re looking for a bold, deeply complex, smoky, peaty whisky, there’s nothing that will speak to you more than a whisky from Islay.
What to try: Described as “a gentle giant”, Laphroaig 10 Year is a classic. You’ll instantly taste Islay’s signature peat, but don’t worry, a hint of vanilla is just behind it.
Use the flavor map below for quick reference:
Find more scotches to enjoy here.