LOWLANDS 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Galloway Forest Park in the Scottish Lowlands.

The Lowland region is Scotland’s lesser known whisky region. Back in the days, every sizeable town had its own distillery; now there are only 7 active distilleries.

The Lowland whiskies are traditionally considered to be the lightest of Scotland’s malts, were often triple-distilled, which leads to increased purity. Triple-distilling continues today at Auchentoshan, a rather floral and fruity whisky. Another well-known Lowland malt is Glenkinchie, which is full-bodied, while still fresh, citric and fragrant. Bladnoch is Scotland’s most southern and a long-established distillery and is returning to full production after a chequered career.

Other Lowlands distilleries are Port Dundas,Strathclyde, North Britishand Girvan/Ailsa Bay. Some of these distilleries however, mainly produce millions of liters of grain whisky for blends, as well as neutral spirit for vodka and gin. Eden Mill, Annandale, Daftmill, InchDairnie and Kingsbarn are new distilleries and suggest a bright future for Lowlands whiskies as soon as their spirits reach maturity and are released.

During the 18thcentury, the Lowlands distilleries were taxed based on the capacity of their stills and not on the volume of alcohol they produced, like in the Highlands. This rule encouraged the Lowlands distillers to operate their stills as quickly as possible, thus reducing the tax rate per liter of spirit and of course, this rule did not lead to tasty and qualitative whiskies at that time. The Canonmills Distillery in Edinburgh is a nice example of this: they charged/discharged their three 253 gallon/957 liter stills every 15 minutes!

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