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Glenkinchie Distillery still room, East Lothian

Food and drink

Whisky Distilleries in the Lowlands

The distilleries of the Lowland region can be found picturesquely set amongst the lush, rolling countryside of southern Scotland. Reflecting the gentle, rolling hillscapes and fertile farmlands, Lowland Scotch whiskies offer the perfect introduction to single malts if you have never tried this tipple before, due to their lighter, sweet and floral tones. As a result, malts from this region have earned themselves the collective nickname of the 'Lowland Ladies'.

The area has long, historic associations with whisky, with Friar John Cor producing whisky here in 1494 for King James IV. Although you'll find fewer distilleries here than regions further north, this is an area growing in whisky production.

For example, whisky production returned to Glasgow in 2017 with the opening of the Clydeside Distillery and Glasgow Distillery Company. More distilleries are planned in the coming years and you can learn more about these in our new distilleries blog post.

Lowland whiskies in a nutshell

  • Number of distilleries: 18
  • Oldest distillery: Bladnoch (1817)
  • Most popular distillery: Glenkinchie
  • Flavour profile: light, unpeated, floral, citrusy, sweet

Where is the Lowland whisky region?

The Lowland whisky region is located in the southernmost parts of Scotland, covering much of the Central Belt and the South of Scotland including Edinburgh & The Lothians, Glasgow & The Clyde Valley, the Kingdom of Fife, Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

This is arguably Scotland's most accessible whisky region, due to enviable travel links from the key conurbations of Edinburgh and Glasgow. The border with England marks the region's southern boundary. If you draw a rough diagonal line from the Firth of Tay in the east to the Firth of Clyde in the west you'll have its northern frontier.

Lowland whisky characteristics

Whiskies from this region are generally considered as the most light-bodied of the single malts. Often triple distilled, these malts are unpeated and lighter in nature, with a gentle, elegant palate, reminiscent of sweetness, which makes them easy to drink, especially for those who are new to single malt whisky. When you enjoy Lowland whiskies, look out for malty, zesty flavours with slightly fruity, citrusy and sometimes floral notes, as well as honeysuckle, cream, ginger, toffee, toast and cinnamon.

Lowlands distilleries

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