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THE WCC GUIDE: HIGHLANDS

In Scottish geography, the Highlands refers to the mountainous regions of Scotland north and west of a line toward life diverge from those of the Lowlands. The Highlands of Scotland is one of the most sparsely populated regions of Europe, making the role of the Scotch whisky industry as a significant lifeline for small communities even more important. Although the Highlands are vast, a single-malt Scotch whisky from that region usually follows four styles based on the cardinal directions: Northern Highland Whiskies, such as Glenmorangie, are particularly spirited, with some relief in the cereals and kinds of honey of Dalmore. Head south for the nutty smack of Tullibardine. Alternatively, whiskey enthusiasts should try the dry and fruity Glengoyne, which has been matured for six years in oak casks. Fruit marries smoke in Ardmore’s east, while Dalwhinnie offers syrupy indulgence in the Central Highlands. The West Highlands harbor full-bodied peat Whiskies smothered in smoke; Oban is top of the class in the ranks of audacity. Many single malt whiskies are made in the Highland region of Scotland. These whiskies are made from 100% malted barley at a single distillery. Many of them are still made on a pot still, which gives the Whisky its smoky, medicinal quality. Overall, Highland single malt whiskeys offer bold, flavorful tastes. Highland whiskey producers aimed to satisfy the demand for their high-quality whiskey in Scotland’s cities. Until roughly the mid-nineteenth century, Highland whiskey was considered vastly superior to Lowland whiskey. That’s why the first Scotch whisky boom began with Highland whiskies rather than with the readily accessible volume producers in the Lowlands. Highland whisky culture is truly a cultural experience. There is a diverse range of flavors available on the market; it should be no surprise that they are highly regarded and sought after by enthusiasts. These whiskeys are aged in charred oak casks, which beautifully lend to the smoky, rich backbone so prevalent in the region. Highland whiskies are some of the best spirits in the world. They are complex, unique, and exquisite.

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