The Speyside is a part of the Highlands of Scotland where over 50% of all Scottish whisky is produced. It is therefore considered to be a whisky producing region on itself, rather than being considered as part of the regular Highlands. The Speyside area stretches from Inverness in the north-west, while its eastern border is defined by the flow of the river Deveron. It’s partially located in the Moray council area, with the other part belonging to the Badenoch and Strathspey area. Geographically, the area is known as the Strathspey, and the center of the Speyside whisky region is the River Spey, flowing from the Monadliath mountains north-wards into the sea. The River Spey, is the fastest flowing, and second longest river in Scotland (the longest being the river Tay). The Speyside area is home to a number of the world’s best selling whiskies, including GlenLivet, Macallan, GlenFiddich, Glenbrothes and Glenfarclas.
Speyside whiskies tend to be light, sweet, mild, fruity and/or flowerish, and complex.
Due to the large amount of distilleries, and the variance between the whiskies produced by them, the region often is divided into smaller sub regions (more for ease of grouping than based on actual geographic differences, or defining differences in taste).
The Deveron area lies along the North-Eastern side of the Speyside area, and lends its name from the river Deveron. It includes the following distilleries:
- Glen Deveron (which makes MacDuff)
Closed Deveron distilleries include:
The town of Dufftown lies in the North-West of Speyside, and is home to several distilleries:
- Mortlach (The original name of Dufftown was Mortlach)
Closeds Dufftown distilleries include:
- Kininvie (Silent)
The Findhorn area can be said to lie around Inverness and the village of Findhorn, in the north-western part of the Speyside. It includes the following distilleries (Tomatin might be within the geographical borders of this region, but they classify themselves as a Highland whisky, so we labelled them as Highland accordingly. Who are we to argue with the distiller?):
Closed Findhorn distilleries include:
The Livet area is the southern-most part of the Speyside, and is defined by the rivers Avon (on the Western side) and Livet (on the Eastern side), which meet at Drumin (from where the it continues northward toe ventually join the River Spey). Distilleries include:
Closed Livet distilleries include:
Lossie lies in the Northern part of the middle of Speyside. The area is centered by the Town of Elgin, which for a large part is encircled by the River Lossie. Distilleries include:
Closed Lossie distilleries incloude:
Rothes can be found above the central Speyside, and south of Lossie. It includes the following distilleries:
Closed Rothes distilleries include:
The Central Speyside is the heart of the area, and focusses around the River Spey. Its distilleries include:
- The Macallan
Closed central Speyside distilleries include:
Strathisla is located in the North-East of Speyside, in-between Dufftown and Deveron. In it, the following distilleries can be found:
Images courtesy of The Glenlivet, Aberlour and GlenFarclas distilleries