I’m often surprised to hear so many people tell me emphatically how much they dislike Whisky. To me it’s a very special spirit with so many nuances and variations – surely they’ve just not found the right Whisky? They tell me that’s not the case – until they are convinced to embark on a regional Whisky adventure of discovery. Suddenly the wonderful world of Scotch Whisky unfolds…
For those of you who are new to the world of Whisky, there are five regions of Scotland which are formally recognised as “Whisky Regions” by the Scottish Whisky Association. These are The Lowlands, Highlands, Speyside, Islay and Campbeltown. Wherever a cask of Whisky is distilled and matured will have an impact on the resulting Whisky’s flavour profile.
The difference between Whiskies from these different regions can sometimes be quite startling, and so a tasting session which journeys through Scotland is often the perfect starting point for a beginner, with much to discuss and discover.
Typically we start our journey in the Lowlands, with something like a Clan Denny Single Cask Single Malt, or a cheeky, oh-so-sweet Clan Denny Single Grain, such as our Cambus 25 Years Old. The reasons for this is they are typically lighter and more elegant and a great way to kick off the experience.
We then venture on to The Highlands, to Whiskies which are typically honey’d with a floral, heather and cereal character, such as our Clan Denny Glengoyne 8 Years Old Single Malt.
Moving on to Speyside for something sweetly sherried. Our Clan Denny Speyside at 43% strength is a great dram for encapsulating the regional style. Bursting with summer berries, vanilla and sweet sticky toffee this Speyside Vatted Malt is perfectly paired with sweetly spiced deserts and dark chocolate.
Then the last regional stop is typically to the legendary Whisky island of Islay! And a great place to finish the journey. Our Clan Denny Islay Vatted Malt carries some of the best that Islay have to offer and typifies the island style with peat and smoke strongly coming through on the nose and palate, neatly replicated by a long, dry finish. This one, we believe, is best enjoyed outdoors, ideally with a gentle sea breeze helping to emphasise the oceanic, maritime qualities of the spirit!
More often than not, once we’ve completed our Whisky adventure, everyone has found at least one flavour profile they enjoy and want to explore more. Those who initially claim to have no appetite for Whisky suddenly discover a drink that has a whole world of flavours on offer, which they actually could grow to really rather love!