5 (ish) Scotch Whisky Regions

5 (ish) Scotch Whisky Regions

Store Staff

Whether you are a new to drinking whisky or a veritable virtuoso, understanding the different types of whisky is the key to unlocking a world of wonder in your tumbler. We at Paul’s Liquor, Sydney’s premier online liquor store, have put together a simple guide to appreciating our favoured alcoholic beverage. 

Scotch Whisky

If you have ever googled ‘Scotch vs Whisky’ you are not alone. Scotch whisky almost appears in a realm of its own. In fact, the Scot’s famous dram is so well liked that it requires defining into 5 (ish) specific regions:


1. Speyside

Well Known Speyside Distilleries: Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, The Macallan and Aberlour

While Speyside is technically a subcategory of the Highland region, it is the origin of approximately half of scotch whisky. So it gets its own designation. Like Highland drops, it has various flavours attributed to it. Most commonly it carries notes for fruit and nuts, honey and vanilla.

Speyside distillery, Glenfiddich, is the world’ best selling single malt whisky.

Paul’s Picks: Glenfiddich 21 year old Reserva Rum Cask Finish


2. Islay

Well Known Islay Distilleries: Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin, and Bruichladdich

For a small Scottish island, Islay, pronounced ‘eye-luh’ (brush up on your brand name pronunciation here) sure is a big hitter in the world of scotch. It is well known for it’s heavy, peaty flavour that comes from smoking barley with peat moss. For many who try it, it is either a love or hate relationship. We personally have a deep affection for the layers of complexity and character in Islay scotch whisky.

Paul’s Picks: Bruichladdich Octomore 11.1


3. Lowland

Well Known Lowland Distilleries: Auchentoshan, Glenkinchie and Bladnoch

If you are of the peat- offended type, Lowland whisky might just be for you. Generally avoiding peat, Lowland whisky is known for its subtle, grassy notes and is a great entry point for the malt whisky initiates. 

Paul’s Picks: Glenkinchie 1991 24 year old Cask Strength


4. Highland

Well Known Highland Distilleries: Glendronach, Oban, Glenmornagie and Dalmore

The Highland whisky region is the largest in Scotland. Due to this it has the widest range of flavours and is therefore difficult to give it a specific taste note. In fact, the Highland region is usually divided into four sub-regions: north for its sweet and full-bodied malts, east and south for their lighter and fruitier character and west for its peatier influence from the coast.

Paul’s Picks: Glenmorangie Signet Whisky Limited Edition


5. Campbeltown

Well Known Campbeltown Distilleries: Glengyle, Springbank and Glen Scotia

The Campbeltown region once hosted the golden years of whisky production, boasting upwards of thirty distilleries. Now there are only three left.

Its seaside location lends it a sea salt smell and briny taste but with smoke and toffee flavours too.

Paul’s Picks: Springbank 21 year old Single Malt


5ish (6).  Islands

Well Known Islands Distilleries: Talisker, Jura, and Highland Park

The Scotch Whiskey Association outlines 5 scotch whisky regions, with Islands being officially a part of the almighty Highlands. But Scotland’s myriad of islands (minus Islay) are often informally known as the sixth region. This is another region that differs greatly between distilleries but generally it can be attributed to peaty and salinity base tones with anything from citrus and honey or pepper and herbs touches from there.

Paul’s Picks: Talisker 8 year old Special Release 2020


How to Find The Best Whisky Online

While there are plenty of online bottle shops delivering to Sydney and surrounding areas, not all offer the same scope of limited edition whiskies. Paul’s Liquor have over 20 years experience as curators of the finest scotch whisky and also have a wealth of knowledge of the global whisky industry. From modern Japanese whisky to lesser known Indian whisky, we can offer advice and fast delivery when you find that perfect dram for you.