Arguably the most famous of the whisky regions is Speyside, situated in the North East section of Central Scotland, incorporating Morayshire, Nairnshire, Banffshire and part of Aberdeenshire.
|Half of all Scottish distilleries are situated in the region and include some of the most famous distilleries on the planet, such as Macallan, Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, and Balvenie. Part of the reason for its popularity as a region was its ready supply of high quality water and good access by the railways which provided transport of manpower, raw materials and the finished product into and out of the distilleries. The lifeblood of the region is the river Spey, its tributaries and adjoining rivers, such as the rivers Deveron, Isla, Fiddich, Findhorn, Dullan, Livet and Lossie, which flow like veins through the region.|
Although the Speyside style is considered to be creamy, honeyed, fruity and easy drinking, distilleries situated along the various tributaries produce subtly different malts. The river Livet, for example, has Glenlivet, Tamnavulin and Tomintoul, all noted for their gentleness. In addition to these creamy and honeyed Speyside malts are produced famously robust and heavily-sherried whiskies such as Macallan, Glenfarclas and Glendronach.
It's fair to say that many of the region's distilleries will be unfamiliar to most people. The reason is that a proportion of Speyside distilleries exist solely to produce malt for blended whisky which accounts for approximately 95 per cent of all whisky sales. Allt-�-Bhainne, Braeval and Caperdonich may not be well known in their own right as single malts, but are crucially important constituents of Chivas Regal. Despite their rarity, many can be found through independent bottlers such as Cadenhead, Douglas Laing and Gordon & MacPhail.