Showing posts with label Whisky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Whisky. Show all posts

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Six Scottish Malt Regions

Scotch Malt - Photo: Wikipedia
Scotland can be divided into six different malt making segments or regions; Islay, Campbeltown, Speyside, Islands Lowlands, and highlands. Each of these regions produces a different malt as the characteristics are different so too are the methods of distilling. Climate variations, raw materials, and production methods all play a roll in the differing of these malts.


This is a small island off the western coast of Scotland and is the site of many wonderful malt distilleries. They have many variations of malts however the most notable carry a tangy smoky peaty taste. The current number of running distilleries is at eight although at one time there was said to be twenty-three, with the newest edition opened in 2005. (and 2018?)


This mountainless and flat region is apparent by its name and is also in the most southern region of Scotland. This brew is contained less of the smoke, peat, and salt than most other malts coming from Scotland and it carries with it a mildly fiery yet smooth taste.


This is undoubtedly the center of the whiskey universe in Scotland.  The Spey River runs directly through the area hence the name. A good majority of top distilleries use water from the river in their processes. Although some of the characteristics vary in Speyside it is still a part of the Highland geographically speaking. Someone interested in trying a traditional Scottish malt for the first time would do well with this malt, as it is rich and relatively mild in taste.


The largest malt-producing region in Scotland is by far the Highlands. This brew is smoky and very rich. In comparison to malts from the lowlands, many of the different distilleries produce a different taste from their malts. This is caused by the varying microclimate differences.  The use of many different raw materials and the inclusion of some changed production routines also contribute to these distinctions in taste


At one time Campbeltown was Scotland’s prime distillery site. Twenty-one distilleries were active in and around 1886 however only three are currently in business. This region is still considered a separate malt state for the value of historians.


Arran, Orkney, Mull, Jura, and Skye make up the body of islands that sometimes get confused with Islay. This is, in fact, an entirely separate region. Those who have some experience drinking malts generally enjoy the malts from this region.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

SCOTCH WHISKY: On top of the world.

English: Oban west highland single malt scotch...
Oban west highland single malt scotch whisky 1992
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In terms of export, Scotch whisky amasses approximately 90% of all export sales combined in England and is a principle export commodity. This income is in great part foreign currency.  This trend has been followed since the turn of the 19-century as the value of overseas marketing was discovered.

Between 15-20% of all scotch whisky consumed in Scotland is first purchased in Britain.   Although the reason for this is unknown, they do not dwell on it since their Scotch seems to be more popular in other countries.  This is proven by the fact that scotch whisky is within the top five export earners and makes a considerable profit while making very large contributions to Britain’s foreign exchange.

Approximately 200 markets are in the exchange for Scotch whisky with the European Union being in the forefront vying for top spot with the United States, Japan and other Asian markets following suit. The European Union is accountable for at least 50% of all Scotch whisky sales with the other countries rounding up another 40% or so.

A nine-year sales projection is in reserve of scotch stock maturing or already matured.  In 1996 the stock of matured scotch was sitting at 2,741 million liters up a tenfold from 1945 at 247 million liters.  The stock was higher in 1939 at 374 million liters.  Obviously the Scotch whiskey market is predicted to grow based on the amount of maturing stock.  

It is a difficult trade dealing in stocks with a scotch manufacturer as they sit and wait on maturing product, they cannot accurately gather information on what the market years down the road will be for their product.  This is a commercial problem.  The most significant undertaking is the capital investment of maturing stock.

There is a very small portion of fine scotch that actually makes it out of Scotland and into other countries.  Matured whiskies as well as fresh fillings are an enticing profit grabber; however the time it takes for this product to turn over and give way to said profit makes this a risky endeavor. It is very hard to determine whether or not the products value will hold in the future.

In closing the value of these company’s finely distilled products is not likely to lose appeal any time soon, although one never knows what the future will bring.  For Scotch lovers, another drink is always in their futures.