A Glass of Scottish Terroir

Aye, laddie, the more than 100 distilleries in seven bonny regions across Scotland means Scotch whisky has a sense of place -- and many different flavors. Join us as we sip a wee bit of a few of them.

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The Region: Speyside, in northeastern Scotland
The Distillery: Glendullan, opened in 1898 in the heart of Dufftown, a charming Highland village at the foot of the Conval Hills that’s a little over an hour from Aberdeen
The Whisky: The Singleton of Glendullan, an amber-colored, 12-year old single-malt whisky that tastes like orange marmalade and brown spices. Its nutty, toffee nose comes from malted locally grown barley; its smoothness is from pure water drawn from the wooded hills above the distillery. $36

The Region: Coastal East
The Distillery: Clynelish in Brora, on the North Sea
The Whisky: The color of burnished gold, Clynelish 14 Year Old has a dried-flower fragrance from nearby fields, sea salt notes from the sea, and a spiced, fresh fruit aftertaste. $50

The Region: Isle of Skye, off the northwest coast of Scotland
The Distillery: Talisker, the only distillery on the rugged islands
The Whisky: Talisker 18 Year Old starts as soft, peaty water drawn from 21 underground springs. Double-distilled, smoky from the peat, sweet and salty, with the faint aroma of oysters, evoking the sea. Warms with a peppery aftertaste. $65

The Region: The Island of Islay
The Distillery: Ardbeg
The Whisky: Perhaps the most distinctive whisky in the world, award-winning Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist explodes with burning peat. Ponderous, it smells of vanilla-laced pipe tobacco, fennel, and Chinese tea but tastes like creamy smoke. It ends with a deep aggression. You either love it or you don’t. $120

The Region: The Highlands
The Distillery: Glenmorangie
The Whisky: Crafted by just 16 men (like all Glenmorangie products), the festive 12-Year-Old Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban is finished in port pipes from Portugal. It’s voluptuous and highly textured with nutty aroma blended with mandarin orange and mint chocolate. $65

The Region: Coastal West
The Distillery: Oban, located about two hours from Glasgow in the atmospheric seaside town of the same name
The Whisky: A maritime whisky, born of local water running from Loch Gleann naBearricdh, Oban 14 Year Old’s nose suggests walking through the lemon orchards of Italy. Its honey-like flavor fills the mouth, and its salty finish has been puzzled over for nearly 200 years. $65

If You Go...

Ardbeg Distillery Islay

Clynelish Distillery
Brora, Sutherland, KW9 6CR

Glendullan Distillery
Dufftown, Keith, Banffshire AB55 4DJ

The Glenmorangie Company
Tain, Ross-Shire, The Highlands

Oban Distillery
Stafford Street, Oban, Argyllshire

Talisker Distillery
Carbost, Isle of Skye
IV47 8SR