Mr Tattie Heid wrote:I don't have any problem with sorting distilleries by region. As I said, it's a matter of geography. What I object to is putting too much credence in regional style. It's something we see relative novices do: "I'm conducting a tasting, and want to include typical samples from each region. What do you suggest?" We invariably advise them to forget about regions and concentrate on a variety of flavor profiles. It's true you'll almost always end up with one of the Kildalton malts, and it's hard to argue that south shore Islay isn't an interesting subregion in itself. But if you walked into Gordon & MacPhail knowing nothing but regions, you might pick Bruichladdich for your Islay, Bladnoch for your Lowland, Aberfeldy as a Highlander, An Cnoc as a Speyside. If you did this after attending a tasting with carefully chosen representative samples form each region, I think you'd end up being very confused.
But there are general common styles in certain areas.
Lowland: malty light grassy lemony,unpeated
Midlands/east some creamy small still malts others often notably fruity
North East Highlands Light and spicy
Traditional Highlands big bodied and smoky
Speyside Bigger full bodied malts with a tradition of sherry maturation are concentrated in central Speyside,Southern speyside on the Livet has a number of delicate light malts,some ofthe distilleries in Keith and Rothes have similar qualities.
Course these are generalizations and there are exceptions but it doesnt make the idea irrelevant
Good old Michael Jackson liked his regions and prattled on about breathing casks,peaty water,peat structure,rock forms.lepricorns etc.Wonderfully fanciful and maybe complete nonsense but there is some sense in the idea that factories in a common area may choose to create a similar style of product.Geography and tradition are a big part of the image of whiskies.Take the location out of the equation and you're discussing nondescript factories producing a range of flavoured spirit drinks.