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When you think of Scotch whisky, you are probably thinking of the whiskies of Speyside. This fascinating and unique corner of the country is tucked into the north-east coast of Scotland, where the north sea batters the cliffs and cold, arctic winds make life hard for the families who have worked there for generations. Speyside is the most industrious and productive whisky region in Scotland, and this small area on the river Spey between Moray and Badenoch produces more whisky than any other part of Scotland, due to the enormous number of famed distilleries which can be found there. No less than sixty percent of all Scotland’s whiskies come out of Speyside, and certain distilleries produce vast quantities of the spirit, with one distillery churning out 12.5 million litres of whisky per year for a global audience.
In Speyside, we can find the big-hitters of the scotch whisky world. Indeed, the two best selling single malt whiskies on earth are produced here - Glenlivet and Glenfiddich - still made using traditional techniques and fiercely guarded secret methods which have been passed down through the ages.
Speyside single malt whiskies fall comfortably into two quite distinctive camps. Whiskies like Glenlivet, for example, typify the light and smooth end of the spectrum - comforting, delicious and full of fresh, grassy flavors. On the other side, we have the heavier, richer and sweeter whiskies which age in sherry barrels and take on a caramel complexity which has its own dedicated fanbase.