In the South of Scotland is the Lowland region covering the area just North of Glasgow, across to Fife and down to the English border.
The region has been hit very hard by the closure of seven distilleries since the 1970s, leaving the region badly under-represented. Although more have recently opened, there are only three operational Lowland distilleries whose single malts are readily available in 2010 - Glenkinchie, Auchentoshan and Bladnoch.
Whereas most distilleries in the world double distill their spirit, the Lowland approach has traditionally been to triple distill it, as is done in many Irish distilleries. These days, however, only Auchentoshan still triple-distills in the region.
The stills in the Lowland distilleries are also taller, allowing only the very lightest elements of the spirit to rise to the top of the still and down into the receiving tank, ready to be matured in oak. Lowland whiskies are consequently light, creamy, floral and herbal - ideal whiskies for those who want an aperitif or/and a gentle introduction to the drink. Because they are light and gentle, Lowlander whiskies are often unjustly dismissed in favour of their harder-hitting neighbours from the North but there is much to admire in Lowland malts. They may not have the oomph of, say, an Islay malt, but they are often just as complex, albeit in a much more subtle way.
Whereas it is common to see Highland, Speyside and Island whiskies of 20 years and older, it is less common to find Lowland malts this old. With the removal of the heavier elements (e.g. oils and fats), they simply don�t have the armoury required to hold off the oak for that long before they are overpowered.