Highland whiskies are all about the big body and dry finish. Often you’ll find they’re peated, smoky and powerful but try a citrusy Glenmorangie and you might think we’re having you on!
The Highland region is the largest on the whisky map and includes the Islands … so if it’s a high mileage you’re after when chasing down the amber liquid then this is the place for you.
Tastes range from salty on the west coast (where the sea has blown in and influenced the flavour) through to the east, north of Speyside, where the highland peat sings through.
To start, try a medium dram. The only north highland inland distillery Glen Ord have an extensive range with their 15 year old (1997) even having a botanical gin-like flavour coming through. These cask strength collection whiskies also have a very clean finish without the anticipated highland puff of smoke.
It may sound like an after dinner aperitif – but you’ll find a whisky with some sherry, ginger and shortbread on the nose with Blair Athol’s 12 year old. Or if you like a fruity pud try Talisker 18 year old with a rich fruity nose – plums and dried orange peel, with a hint of butterscotch or rum toffee on the palate.
North of Inverness the distilleries are all on the coast (except for Glen Ord, which is a mere 3km inland). Before cars, trucks and railways existed the easiest way to wing whisky off around the world was via ship, so it makes it easy to locate your big-bodied peaty whiskies – just jump on that coastal path!