Talisker Distillery, Carbost, Isle of Skye © Diageo/Jakub Iwanicki

Food and drink

Whisky Distilleries in The Highlands

With no fewer than 47 distilleries spread across the Highlands and Islands, the Highland whisky region is by far Scotland's largest geographical whisky producing area. To call Highland whiskies diverse is an understatement: it boasts probably the widest array of styles, from rich and textured to fragrantly floral - these are whiskies that refuse to be pigeonholed.

In this region you'll find some of Scotland's oldest distilleries including Glenturret at Crieff and Balblair at Tain, and some of Scotland's newest, such as Isle of Raasay DistilleryTorabhaig Distillery on Skye and Ncn'ean Distillery by Lochaline.

Explore Highland distilleries and sample the region's distinctive malts and blends. You'll find some of whisky's most famous names here - and some of its most fiercely individual spirits.

Highland whiskies in a nutshell

  • Number of distilleries: 47
  • Oldest distillery: Glenturret (1775)
  • Most popular distillery: Glenturret (Famous Grouse Experience)
  • Flavour profile: fruity, sweet, spicy, malty

Where is The Highland whisky region? 

The distilleries of the Highland whisky region are spread far and wide, and in terms of geography, this whisky region takes the crown as Scotland's largest. Stretching from Orkney in the north to the Isle of Arran in the south, the region takes in the northern isles and most of the Inner and Outer Hebrides, Argyll, Stirlingshire, Arran, parts of Perthshire and Aberdeenshire too.

You can find out more about this vast region and how to get here and get about by visiting our Map of Scotland.

Highland whisky characteristics

The Scotch produced in the untamed wilds of the Highlands is varied and unique from distillery to distillery thanks to the ever-changing landscape of coastline, moor and mountain and variable weather conditions. While some are peated, heavily sherried or have a salty tang from the sea, others are fresh, light and grassy.

It is helpful to categorise Highland single malts into four sub-regions. In the north (including Orkney), you'll find full bodied, heathery whiskies with a spicy character; lighter and fruity whiskies are found to the south, and similar drams with a touch more body are found to the east (The Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire). The whiskies from the western reaches offer full body with a peaty punch and sea air. Those from the islands tend to be sweet and smoky, with maritime influences, reflecting the heathery and salty peat that's used to dry the barley.

Highlands distilleries

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