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The Speyside region became distinct from the Highlands in 2009, when its unique signature within Scottish whisky was formally recognised in the Scotch Whisky Regulations. Speyside is in north-east Scotland and the region is defined by the distiller’s proximity to the river Spey, a source of high-quality, low-mineral water that produces excellent whisky. Speyside has the largest number of distilleries of all the regions in Scotland and produces more than 60 per cent of Scotland’s single malt whisky.
Historically the Spey valley was prime for growing the barley needed for whisky production and was also remote enough to be beneficial (as duty collectors didn’t often visit) but not so isolated that it has impacted their modern production. More than a third of all Scottish distilleries are in the Speyside region and it is the home of the renowned distillers Glenlivet and Macallan as well as many more.
Speyside whisky is varies in taste but is generally known for being robust, floral and fruity alongside the characteristic flavours of malt, dried fruit and smoke. Additional variations are chosen by the individual distiller according to the house’s traditions and still type.