Scotch Whisky – The region of the Lowlands

Lowlands directly touch England to the south and end on the Highland Line to the north. This virtual line, drawn once by the British Parliament, stretches from Greenock to Dundee.

Régions d'Ecosse

The area includes the central belt of Scotland South (a line from Forth to Loch Lomond). In the region, there always have been only malt distilleries, especially because at the time of the illegal distillation, there was almost no possibility of distilling whiskey in secret in this rather flat country. 

 

In the middle of the Lowlands is the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh. With 450,000 inhabitants, it is, after Glasgow, the second largest city and cultural center of Scotland. Meanwhile, modernism appeared in the old town. 

 

The city could benefit from the new Scottish Parliament, who succeeded in 1999 to wrest a part of legislative power from the London government. Edinburgh offers no particular distillery to whiskey lovers, but the Scotch Whisky Heritage Center takes its visitors in an eventful journey from the past to the present manufacture of eau-de-vie. It is also here that are the headquarters of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

 

Lowlands-map

In 1974, there were 12 distilleries producing blend in the Lowlands. Seven of them are no longer in activity: Auchtermuchyet Auchtertool closed in 1928. Kinclaith closed in 1992. Ladyburn closed in 1993. Provanmill closed in 1929. Rosebank, closed in 1993. St. Magdalene closed in 1983. Interleven closed in 1992 and destroyed in 2002 and Littlemill was dismantled in 1997 and destroyed in 2004.
Today, it remains only three distilleries in this region: Auchentoshan, Bladnoch and Glenkinchie. Because lately, there is again a strong demand for varieties of sweet whiskey, this market could well come back to life. 

 

The style of Lowlands’s whisky 

 

A long maturation is one of the characteristics of Lowlands’ whiskeys. These whiskeys can mature for a long time without becoming woody.

 

The whiskeys from this region are often softer, mellower than those from the Highlands. The Lowlands have a typical dry finish, which makes them excellent aperitifs. This dry feeling comes from the malt itself, not from the peat (distilleries tend to use non-peaty malt). This gives their some fruity sweetness in the flavor and mouth. The aromatic intensity of these whiskeys is low and tends more towards a floral note.

 

Lately, since there is again a strong demand for varieties of sweet whiskey, this market could well come back to life.