What does a lowland whisky taste like?

Well. We’ve popped our galoshes on and are wading into the debate on this one. Lowland whiskies have been nicknamed the ‘Lowland Ladies’ due to their gentle, light nature. The nickname feels a little out of date to us, but is there any truth in these lightweight rumours?

Let’s start with geography. The Lowlands cover the area from the border with England right up to Edinburgh in the east and Glasgow in the west and on up to Loch Lomond and Glengoyne. The Lowlands also include the Kingdom of Fife.

If you look back through the last two centuries, almost all lowland towns had a distillery and now there are far fewer spanning this huge area, from Bladnoch Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town in Dumfries and Galloway, to Auchentoshan near Glasgow. 

So the rumour goes we’re dealing with light, aperitif suitable drams. Does this stand up?

Cameron Bridge in Fife is one of the biggest distilleries in Scotland and has been in operation since 1824; they produce a light single grain whisky, slotting into the lowland profile a treat. 

Near Edinburgh, Glenkinchie say their Distillers Edition is ‘biscuity sweet, digestives and hobnobs’ – this one would go well in a hot toddy or with a cup of tea at the end of the long day. A reassuring dram, and yes, quite light. 

Auchentoshan – which overlooks the River Clyde – is another light dram, but also triple distilled, making it stand out further in this small band of distilleries.

With a small but perfectly formed group of distilleries in the lowlands is it time for some new blood? Edinburgh, Fife and Glasgow hold their own when it comes to 21st century gin distilleries and microbreweries – surely it’s time for someone to take up the gauntlet with a new distillery or two?