Plenty to Offer Outdoor Enthusiasts and Whisky Buffs in Moray

Plenty to Offer Outdoor Enthusiasts and Whisky Buffs in Moray
By Dipika Patel

Moray on Scotland’s east coast has plenty to offer if you are looking to get off the beaten path on your holiday north of the border.

The region is packed with historical sights, world-class golf courses, outdoor attractions and, of course, its famous whisky.

Indeed, whisky is big business in this area, with Moray’s distilleries accounting for around half of Scotland’s total production of the spirit. More than 50 distilleries can be found here – some of which produce malts for well-known global brands Johnnie Walker and The Famous Grouse.

The Malt Whisky Trail could be a perfect adventure for you if you are a fan of the drink, or if you are simply curious about learning more about its production and history. A signposted route leads you to some of the best working distilleries in the region, including the historical Dallas Dhu facility, which has been preserved in its original19th century condition. Here – and at other distilleries – you will have a chance to see firsthand how the drink is produced and you may be lucky enough to try a sample or two.

Moray is also the setting for Shakespeare’s well-respected tragic play Macbeth and the area’s history is sure to impress. Why not take a wander through some of the region’s castle ruins – many of which are nestled among scenic, rolling hills – or visit the more modern Brodie Castle? The 16th century building, which was a residential home until 2003, is packed with centuries-old works of art and you can also pop into its shop and tearoom during your stay at a nearby hotel on Scotland’s east coast.

Nature lovers will also find plenty to impress them in Moray. Those who are staying in a hotel in the Highlands are spoiled for choice when it comes to top-quality golf courses and places to go hiking and walking. More adventurous types may even wish to try out camping or caravanning.

Bottlenose dolphins can be spotted off the coast and you can get up close and personal with them if you join a boat tour. And if diving is your favourite outdoor pursuit, there is plenty of fun to be had off of Scotland’s east coast.

Whatever type of holiday you are looking for, Moray is sure to please.

If you’re looking to book a hotel east Scotland visit Luxury Scotland to book a hotel in the Highlands – famous Scottish Malt Whisky.

Visit Luxury Scotland for luxury hotels, golf resorts, luxury spa hotels, country house hotels and other destinations that we believe reflect Luxury Scotland and experience the very best of Scotland.

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Whisky Regions of Scotland

Whisky Regions of Scotland

 

Whisky Regions of Scotland

By Harry Young

Just as France has its wine regions, Scotland has its whisky regions. Each one produces whiskies of various qualities which, even to the novice, are noticeable in taste, colour and aroma. Every distillery in Scotland has its own story to tell and peculiar traditions, adding to the romance and mystique of Scotch whisky distilling.

A visit to a whisky distillery is an unforgettable and unique experience, and no matter where you are in Scotland there will be a distillery nearby. A trip round Scotland isn’t possible for everyone, so it helps to be informed about the characteristics of each region’s whisky, and tailor visiting distilleries to individual taste.

Lowlands

The lowland region covers the area from the border with England and from the Clyde estuary to the Tay estuary. The main feature of lowland whiskies is their dry, light flavour and colour, mainly due to the lighter lowland barley and smaller amount of peat used in the barley drying process. Although they are light, they have a sweet, almost fruity taste and make a great aperitif, perfect for the newcomer to Scotch whisky drinking. Notable lowland whiskies are Auchentoshan, Bladnoch, and Glen Kinchie.

Highlands

This is the largest of the Scottish regions and stretches from the lowland boundary right up to the north coast, and from west coast to east coast, taking in all the mountains, glens and moorland inbetween. It is also the most complex of whisky regions because of the different sub-regions, each one producing whiskies of different qualities.

Northern Highland

Northern Highland whisky tends to be stronger tasting with a complex array of flavours and aromas. Hints of heather and spice mingle with light peaty, smokiness to give a medium-bodied character. Some whiskies even have a very slight tinge of salt, perhaps due to the coastal locations of most distilleries. Notable northern Highland whiskies include Glenmorangie and Brora.

Southern Highlands

Whisky from the southern highlands is typified by its gentleness. The soil in the rolling hills is light and produces similarly light tasting barley which forms the bulk of whisky’s taste. It is also very fragrant and flowery, with a soft, sweet taste. Celebrated southern Highland whiskies are Glengoyne, Edradour, and Tullibardine.

Western Highlands

The western highland whiskies are more robust in character than those of other Highland regions. Slightly peatier than inland whiskies, they have well-rounded flavours, and are very smooth on the palate. Notable western Highland whiskies are Oban, Glen Lochy and Ben Nevis.

Speyside

Although Speyside is in the highlands, it is classed as a whisky region because of its high concentration of distilleries. This is the heartland of whisky with two thirds of all Scotland’s distilleries, some of them the most famous in the world. Rivers such as the Spey and Livet flow from the Cairngorm mountains and their waters’ purity is hallowed by distillers.

Speyside whiskies are light and sweet, elegant and complex. They are not peat-heavy and have only a hint of peaty smokiness. Some Speyside whiskies are household names, such as Glenlivet, Macallan, Glenfiddich and Aberlour.

Campbeltown

Situated near the bottom of the Kintyre Peninsula, Campbeltown was once a major centre for Scotch whisky distilling with around 30 distilleries. Now there are only three. Their whiskies have a distinctive full-bodied “maritime” flavour and aroma and are among the less peaty malts. The three Campbeltown distilleries are Glengyle, Glen Scotia and Springbank.

Islands

Among whisky connoisseurs, the “island region” isn’t really a region at all. Some argue that it can’t be a specific region because some of the islands are very far apart, for example, Arran and Skye, whose whiskies have very different flavours. However, the islands of Mull, Jura, Skye, Arran and Orkney “traditionally” make up the Island malts. All have peaty, smoky bodies and full flavours, but there are marked differences in taste, colour and aroma. Famous island whiskies include Tobermory (Mull), Isle of Jura, Talisker (Skye), Highland Park (Orkney), and Arran Single Malt.

Islay

Islay (pronounced “eye-luh”) is so famed and loved by whisky experts it is classed as a region in its own right, although it is nearby the other west coast whisky producing islands. Its eight distilleries distill the strongest whiskies in Scotland and are distinctive by their rich, peaty flavours with hints of the sea, deep colouring, and full bodies. Islay’s better known whiskies are Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Lagavulin, and Laphroaig.

Sage Advice

Scotch Single Malt Whisky is a very strong alcoholic drink. Once a taste for it has been acquired, the palate becomes more alive to its full, complex flavours, and its smoothness makes it a pleasure to drink. Please enjoy your dram responsibly.

Harry Young works for Toltech Internet Solutions and writes on behalf of Loch Melfort Hotel – a 3-star, 2 AA Rosette hotel on the romantic coast of Argyll in the Scottish Highlands. With superb views in a tranquil setting, fresh, local produce and fine single malt whisky and ales, it is the ideal base for visiting highland and island whisky distilleries.

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